A while back I wrote a post about taking my boys ice-skating and how much they enjoyed it and how much I hated it. That post really struck a chord with that lovely Hong Kong blogger, Bloomin Marvelous, who wrote a post about how we don't really appreciate what our mothers did for us until we become mothers ourselves. She has a point. I had no idea how often my Mum had been up during the night, cleaned up vile smelling substances, counted to ten in her head before tackling some dreadful behaviour, stood freezing in thigh deep Arctic waters willing us to learn how to swim, until I had to do it all myself.
Bloomin Marvelous also tagged me in her Gratitude Tag to write a bit about my mother, to celebrate her and say why she is so amazing. And in the run up to Mother's Day I thought I should finally take her up on it. For much as Mother's Day is all about me in this household, it is a chance to say thanks to my Mum and sorry that I won't be there this year to join you all. Next year, I promise.
Both Mum and Dad had, shall we say, less than conventional upbringings. But somehow, they have created a really strong, close family. I can't underestimate how difficult this must have been. Everyone says that you will replicate the mistakes of your parents, but Mum didn't. She made her own decisions and created her own path and my brothers and I have been the incredibly fortunate beneficiaries of that. There was nothing that she wouldn't do for us growing up. She was always there, listening, helping, teaching. We moved about a bit, lived in other countries but Mum didn't falter. She went to another culture and carried on, creating and nuturing her family, whatever the differences and difficulties that the outside world had to throw at her. Now I am living in another culture I know how difficult that is. She did an amazing job.
She wasn't afraid to buck the system. Taking my brother and I out of school for a month because we had an opportunity to go to Africa. The school weren't happy, Mum said 'stuff them'. I remember more from that trip today than from all the rest of my primary school days put together. It was the right decision.
She's glamorous too, my Mum. I mean, she looks amazing. She has great style, I'm envious of her clothes. She's too small for me to borrow many of her clothes but if I could, I would. She is the most likely person to tell me of a new clothes shop find, or an amazing shoe shop. Most people are worried if they dress like their mothers. Me? Well I'm just thrilled if I manage to pull off that look.
Now I'm an adult. Well, there is noone else who will listen to me whitter on about my children for hours on end and still sound interested at the end of it all. No one else will sit for hours looking at different clothes on websites talking about what will suit me and when will I wear it. I'm incredibly lucky, my mother is amazing. If I can do half as good a job as her then I will be so proud with what I have achieved.
So Mum, Happy Mother's Day and I don't have the words to say how much I love you. Thank you for everything.
I offer this tag up to anyone that wants to take it up, but in particular, if they fancy it:
A Modern Dilemma
London City Mum
Mid Atlantic English
Single Parenthood, Tales from the Frontline
Notes from Lapland