I am feeling sentimental today. Today is a cup(s) of tea, Netflix, top-knot wearing, waiting for wine-o’clock, pj’s on the couch kind of day and I feel zero guilt from it! It looks like winter is finally starting a subtle flirtation with Australia, thankfully! It’s cool enough to just have the door open, no fan or air-con necessary..it’s gorgeous :).
It is Mother’s Day tomorrow, here in Australia – I am too excited! My mum is my best-friend, without a doubt. I am her first-born, her eldest daughter and I am guessing I was her most problematic teenager. I read your post today K E Garland and it inspired me to share how I feel about my Mother, I hope you don’t mind 🙂 x.
This is the person who gave up her entire life to have me, to welcome me into the fold to share the world with her and Dad. She prayed for me, grew me, protected me, loved me. She taught me to talk, walk, love and care for others. Her cuddles, kisses and smell are my favourite things. Her acts of love, selflessness and constantly going without, were to provide for her family, to love her children. To put us first.
My Mum is a powerhouse, like most of our Mother’s are. Mum is the strongest, kindest, most selfless warrior of a woman I have ever met. We were just above the poverty line for most of my child-hood. However, Mum always made things fun, she went out of her way to spoil us and treat us on our Birthday’s. Her creativity in the 80’s and 90’s (pre-PINTEREST) is astounding to look back on now.
I, like my siblings (and any lucky Aussie kid), picked a cake out of the Woman’s Weekly Cook Book every year (check this link out, to trip down memory lane :)). She punished bad behaviour in the most constructive way, told me it was better to be kind than ‘beautiful’, that strong was better than skinny and that everything in moderation was ok.
Mum taught me how to plait, she took three pieces of material and nailed them to a piece of wood, that’s how I learnt. I always got to lick the bowl after she had baked a cake, she held my head over a bowl of hot water with vix with a tea-towel over my head when I was sick.My mum took white-out and blanked out the lines in books she thought were too harsh for a little girl and would change the sentence in her own writing, with blue biro, over the top of the crunchy white-out.
I got my baking, singing and drawing skills from my Mother (so…NIL), but I also got her thick problematic hair, her front teeth, sense of humour and her resilience.
I grew up with the phrases ‘give it all you’ve got‘, ‘you’re capable of anything you set your mind to‘, ‘if it doesn’t work out, who cares at least you tried‘, ‘build the memories‘, ‘be a good person, don’t be hateful or cruel to anybody‘, ‘stand your ground‘ and ‘you are worth more than your dark moments‘. There have been numerous times in my life where these sayings have motivated me, guided me, scolded me and saved me.
Thank you for enforcing the no-shaving-your-legs until I was in high-school, never letting me watch The Simpsons and for enforcing t.v-off at 6.30pm and reading only until 7.30pm when it was lights-off, until I was 13. You gave me my love for books.
Even when I lived out of home when I was studying, she would drive passed my place and drop left-overs from dinner off at my dorm. Looking back on it now, I am starting to think it was not just to be kind, but maybe me leaving her in that house with two younger kids on her own would have been heart-breaking, that she may not have been prepared to only make three dinners, rather than four.
Mum stood by and comforted me through every break-up, every friendship break-down, difficulties in work, struggles in university and in life. Health problems, drama’s when I went overseas. The lot of it, supporting me, encouraging me and telling me to keep going. I could be in the darkest of corners imaginable and I would get an SMS ‘Lucy, I love you – never forget that. This too shall pass‘, and sometimes that was enough to get me to move, to get out of bed, to remember the sun will shine the next day.
Her out-of-this-world excited reaction when I got my first period, got my first job, got into uni, got promotions, got married. All of them – first class responses of elation and pure-unadulterated JOY!
Thank you for making sure I made it to 31, thanks for letting me make my own mistakes but stepping in when I could have gotten really hurt. Thanks for pushing me to do things I hated, just so I would learn to appreciate what it means to honouring your commitments.
Thank you for covering my super-white skin in suncream and lycra and hats and even making me sit in that stupid beach-tent, as you tried to protect me from the Australian sun. Thank you for smiling and nodding and feigning interest in whimsical side-projects/aims/plans which I am sure you knew I would completely tank at (but never, ever saying ‘I told you so‘).
Thanks for giving me your love of diet coke, cheesecake, coffee and dark humour. Maybe not so many thanks for passing along your fear of spiders, clowns, wallpaper and Humphrey B.Bear (yes, it is ridiculous he wears a vest but no pants).
So, Mum. My best friend, my protector, cheerleader, Nurse, taxi-service, accountant, manager of personal affairs, P.R Specialist, psychic, psychologist, relationship counsellor, partner in crime, grief counsellor, expert hugger and love of my life…I love you. I thank you and I love you. I wouldn’t be a tenth of the woman I am today, without you.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mum!