Mum: I knew I should have been horrified but in a way, I was glad.
M: No, not glad-
Kate: Yes, you were –
T: Kate, your mother is speaking.
M: I was thankful. Relieved? That feeling like when you’re not well and the doctor gives you a cause. An illness, a tumour, its cancer, it’s this, it’s that. You know why. It all makes sense. It’s real.
K: Of course it was real.
M: I didn’t want to believe.
K: You thought I was lying?
M: I didn’t want to believe. The thought of you lying was the easiest –
M: More manageable to believe. I wasn’t … I didn’t want it to be …
T: So you read her diary, did you confront Kate?
T: I asked your mother.
M: No, I still wanted … I didn’t … speech doesn’t have the monopoly on lies, you can write them down.
T: So when did you talk to Kate about her sexuality?
M: After she her friend home –
K: Girlfriend, mum. Ex-girlfriend.
T: Kate, it’s your mother’s turn.
K: She said it all, nothing left. She doesn’t like Liza or what I am.
M: It’s not that, it’s –
K: Yes it is!
T: If I may! Kate, I want you to remain silent until your mother has finished. You have a habit of interrupting. And if you don’t mind me saying, your mother has some trouble expressing herself.
K: She was quite clear –
M: I was taken aback.
T: Let your mother work through her words.
M: I was scared. I was surprised. I don’t know about that stuff.
(Kate goes to speak but claps her hand around her month.)
T: Well done.
M: Thank you. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to cope. Not because I’m ashamed of your choice or your biology or whoever you came to be who you are. But what if you had questions. My mother always dismissed my troubles with ‘boys will be boys’. But do you say the same for women? ‘Girls will be girls.’ I knew I would be a bad mother.
K: That’s really selfish.
(The Therapist gives Kate a look.)
M: It’s all I know. It’s all fashionable. I pretend to understand feminism but I’m quite happy being a stay at home mum. I’m not career driven. I have no glass ceiling to break. I probably didn’t use that expression right.
K: I knew what you meant.
(Kate places a hand on her mother’s knee. The Therapist smiles.)
M: I want to be a good mum to you but I don’t know how.
T: Why don’t you tell her Kate?
K: You can say ‘girls will be girls’. But the best thing you can do is hug me, tell me I’m too good for her. Eat ice cream with me, laugh with me, cry with me. It’s not so hard mum, you just say ‘she’ instead of ‘he’.
K: This was new to me too. We can learn together, that was my first relationship. I have nothing to compare your performance too.
M: I had a speech prepared for when you broke up with your first boyfriend.
K: I don’t doubt that.