Mum and Me - June 2014
We mums are a mixed bunch of women with the common thread that we've all raised children, be it biologically, through adoption, fostering or otherwise. Once a year on Mothering Sunday, it's nice to bask in the collective glory of motherhood in all it's guises because let's face it, being a mother is a privilege.
This Mothering Sunday I shall be sharing my day with my own mum. She and dad will come up for lunch and we'll probably walk the dogs if the weather is nice. My mum is a beautiful lady, now in her early seventies she retains a youthful appearance and leads a full and busy life. As the years roll by she becomes more like a fragile bird to me: quiet, timid and shy, although when I was younger she seemed like a tough cookie. Mum certainly wore the trousers and ruled the roost in our house as my dad for much of my childhood, worked abroad. She never had the luxury of the phrase "wait until your father gets home" as we could've been waiting three months or more for this threat to be realised! My brothers and I weren't particularly unruly children but we certainly had our moments. Although more like my Dad in personality, I share many similarities to my lovely mum, notably her penchant for nice clothes and a love of cooking. A quiet lady, she shies away from the limelight, fiercely proud of her three children, she relishes every opportunity to spend time with her beloved grandchildren.
The celebrating of Mother's Day changes over the years, from the initial novelty of first becoming a mother to where I find myself today some years down the road. I've only just begun to appreciate that as one's children grow up, they aren't always around and when they do come home these occasions become precious. This year for the first time my eldest son will not be with me on Mothering Sunday, but at least I can spend time with my own mum mindful as I am that not all of us are fortunate to still have our mothers in our lives. So it is important to cherish these opportunities and not allow them to pass by unacknowledged.
The commercialisation of Mothering Sunday is something I find a bit unseemly which is saying something considering I am a florist! Like Valentines Day it can be over hyped with the expectation centred around the materialistic side of gift giving. In a society where families are dispersed around the globe let alone a country or region, it's nice to mark the day simply by coming together, if this is not possible a token acknowledgement be it a phone call, a card or a gift is certainly a lovely gesture showing that you care and that she is not forgotten.
Naturally I will be arranging flowers for Mothering Sunday, the orders have already started coming in and it's true to say it will be a pleasure to arrange flowers knowing how much they will be appreciated and enjoyed. Except I'm not planning to push too hard to drum up business, partly because I'm an event florist and these sorts of social occasions are more of an incidental side line which I am happy to be part of, but mostly because I want to spend as much of my mothers day with my own mum. Yes, I will be giving her flowers (it is traditional after all). I'll be in my workshop on the preceding Friday and Saturday should you want anything - you know where to find me. All I ask is that you don't leave it too late as I've got Sunday lunch to cook too!
The following is an excerpt from JoJo Moyes book "Me Before You" the words struck a chord with me as a mother and thought I'd share them.
“It's just that the thing you never understand about being a mother, until you are one, is that it is not the grown man - the galumphing, unshaven, stinking, opinionated off-spring - you see before you, with his parking tickets and unpolished shoes and complicated love life. You see all the people he has ever been all rolled up into one.
I look at him and see the baby I held in my arms, dewing besotted, unable to believe that I'd created another human being. I see the toddler, reaching for my hand, the schoolboy weeping tears of fury after being bullied by some other child. I see the vulnerabilities, the love, the history.”
Lastly, you may be wondering what's with the title? Well the thing is I answer to many names: I am mother when my boys are being ironic, occasionally I am Mum ususally when being referred to in the third person, now and again I am Madre in reference to a Spanish GCSE, but mostly I am called Mummy. I think I love being a Mummy the most as there is a certain gentleness to the name which makes my heart overflow with love and pride.
Mother's Day is on Sunday March 15th, don't forget your mum - where ever she may be.