Mother’s Day was never a big deal when I was growing up (sorry mom!) Poor mom was lucky if she scored some awkwardly hand-made card from school. I remember as a teenager, an old lady asked me on Mother’s Day if I had made breakfast in bed for my (obviously unspoilt) mother. That was the first time I heard that people do that kind of thing for their mums. I don’t even think I knew how to make toast in those days.
Now that I am a mum, I have made sure that all the men (big and small) in my house know weeks in advance that the day is coming. I don’t do my birthday (perhaps another blog post for that one) so Mother’s Day means a lot to me. I don’t get gifts – I just want the love, the cards, the attention, the responses to my demands, breakfast in bed and one very long lazy lie in. I shouldn’t only be appreciated once a year really – but the essential difference here is that once a year I can sit back and expect it.
There are so many things I hate about being a mother: I hate seeing my sons experience mental anguish and emotional turmoil and I hate feeling helpless; I hate seeing the hurt in their eyes knowing that maybe I caused it and I hate not knowing how to take it away; I hate seeing my children lose and I hate seeing my children lose friends; I hate watching them fail and I hate having to accept that they will fail. I hate being so exhausted and out of patience that I land up shouting so loudly at my children that I scare myself (Dear God – Thank you for only letting this happen once a year) Senior Son once said to me, “Mum, I understand why you had to shout, but did you have to do it so loud?”
Thankfully, there are a gazillion things that I love about being a mother. I don’t need to go into those over here because if you are a mum or have a mum, you know what those are already. I am so lucky that the hatred list stops but the love list is infinite. Today I will add to my infinite list the card I got from Senior Son telling me to RELAX this Mother’s Day… I think he knows if I relax he has less chance of getting into trouble. I did relax. He made me the most delicious cheesy omelette filled with love and everyone knows omelettes in bed always taste better. I even stayed in bed until 11am – getting up only because Senior Son had found a cat outside who was looking for some rescuing.
Junior Son loves, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” jokes. After I had munched down the sickly sweet Ruffs he had made me at school he presented me with a card asking, “Why did the Mum cross the road?” I LOVE this reply: “No one could tell, really. She was mumbling to herself about peace and quiet. She circled the block a couple of times and came back a lot happier.” He also wrote me a very short love song. Nobody has ever written me a love song before. I will cherish this one forever on my infinite list. It goes like this:
Love is what you will hope that you can keep. Sometimes you cannot. But something you can share with us forever is love.
Mother’s Day this year was very low key. We have our first open day to try and sell our house this week and so after I surfaced at 11am I spent the rest of the day scrubbing dirty marks off our walls. Strangely enough, I did not resent these marks. I kind of felt guilty cleaning them off. Each stain on my wall meant that somebody had been here. Somebody has passed through and left their mark. That means we still have people in our lives – busy children leaving evidence of their experiences and adventures. One day I am going to miss those marks on my walls.
To all the mothers in my life who make a difference to me – my mom, my mother-in-law, my sisters and sister-in-law, my aunts, my cousins, my friends and my fellow blog followers: I hope your journey to the next Mother’s Day will be filled with infinite lists, roads to cross, cheesy omelettes (low fat of course);love to share and lots of marks on your walls.