12 May 2012
Happy Mother's Day Mumsies
I haven't had the chance to embrace my personal Mother's Day experience, since i had a baby in my belly. That might sound shocking, as i LOVE being a mother & adore my mummy + mother-in-law . . . so let me take you back. This is my reality, where Mother's Day is a work in progress.
I love my mummy, i call her Barbie Doll, my siblings each have a special name for her too. Together we'd celebrate Mother's Day with much gusto . . . treats (flowers, perfume, trinkets) present her with breakfast in bed (warming the teapot before making tea, she could tell the difference, she's English) & an enormous family dinner (she didn't have to cook herself). Beautiful childhood & adult memories of worshipping our beloved mother, lead by our father - her biggest fan. So you can imagine how Mother's Day is now, Alzheimer's has stolen the memory that she even has children, so we carry on as if she knows who we are, a harmless denial which is surprisingly easy to fudge, even the grandchildren play along. The challenging thing is - you start so many conversations & stories saying "remember when . . ." or "Mum, you know . . ." it's crushing as you realise over & over again, she doesn't have a clue.
I lost my mother-in-law to breast cancer while pregnant with my first baby. I was excited about Mother-To-Be-Day, as my mummy called it - complete with gift hamper of everything you could possibly need as a new mother - the woman was a one stop baby shower, yet i remember so vividly chattering away to my own mother on the phone that Mother's Day, then looking up to my husband (constructing a cot) to see his eyes well up, he quietly said "i don't have a Mother anymore." Of course my mother loves my husband to pieces (we joke she'd keep him in a divorce) but Mother's Day is still a brutal reminder for my husband, of the agony of losing his mother.
Finally, in 13 years as a mummy, i've had 2 Mothers' Days with my husband around . . . it's not exactly a scene of mother-having-day-off-with-feet-up-while-being-pampered-&-showered-with-gifts. I'm not ba humbug, but you get my drift. You know i'm uber positive, just not about this chestnut Ok!! I'm also patient, my time of Mother's Day glory will come, eventually. I sent Barbie a card - we'll see them in a few weeks when handsome soldier is home. That brings me much more happiness - giving to my mother, no matter how she responds - than my children giving to me. This year i've turned the tables too, i'm only a mother because of my beautiful children, so instead, i'll accept their handmade cards & flowers from the neighbours garden, then . . . i'm giving them gifts!! To me, that is joy. I may have used my husband's credit card for a few magazine subscriptions, so don't feel too sorry for me!!
This year, my siblings & i banded together to send Mum to the Ritz in London for High Tea & a suite for the night, a couple of weeks ago. This photo captures it perfectly . . . my forever-proud-father & now-distant-mother. She'd also die if she realised she was wearing a jumper to the Ritz, instead of a Chanel twin set with pearls. Yes, they are still travelling the world, only with my brother as their 'private physician' as they can't get insurance anymore.
To lighten the mood . . . my proud children couldn't wait to show me how their chick is circus-ready, the mystique of a bird balancing on a pencil. If you want to discover parental love in your children, get a baby animal!!
I'll always remember, when one of my sister's-in-law was suffering depression & asked me "what kind of a mother will my children think i am??" I don't think you have to have depression to ponder that thought!! I was in high school & babysat her 2 young daughters every afternoon, watching them play with dolls - carefully dressing them, laying them gently in cots & singing to them softly . . . i told her "they have learned this from you, naturally, from your heart" & the relief that washed over her, that she'd done something right (depression is evil, harsh & critical of every thought.)
So to all the mummies out there, i wish you a very happy Mother's Day this Sunday. To those struggling with what Mother's Day means to you . . . you are not alone. Let's hope it keeps developing & evolving into something beautiful with new traditions & happiness. I know mine will, it's just going to take a little more time. It's an awful lot of pressure for one day. Yelling & begging your children "please behave, it's Mother's Day" is not exactly a Hallmark moment. I like to consider every unsolicited hug & kiss, random note left on my pillow & SMS starting with "Mumsie, can you . . .", that's Mother's Day to me - everyday. Love Posie