The power of a mother to shape her child is undeniable which in turn makes it, to me, quite terrifying.
Here I am at 39 weeks pregnant, days away from becoming a mother. The definition of ‘to become’ is ‘to begin to be’ and this is undoubtedly the case. One minute daughter, next minute mother. Bam! Just like that.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my mum of late, about my childhood with her and searching back through memories, trying to identify what I think I should be trying to do for my own child when he/she arrives. What did my mum do that was great? How did she teach me this and that? How much of who I am is her? What would I choose to do differently? Was there anything that I think f*cked me up a bit? How did she shape me and guide me and aaarrrgh!
It reminded me of an email I sent to my mum about 3 years ago I think. It’s dated around Mother’s Day so that’s probably why although not actually on Mother’s Day as I’m rubbish like that. I found it and share it here below. It goes to show that it’s not all about the big stuff but about the day to day, the gestures and the love and the REALNESS of life. We are lucky if we have good memories however seemingly insignificant and it’s calmed me somewhat to read it because you see she didn’t actually DO anything. She just WAS.
I remember when…
We used to make such a mess cooking brownies and rock cakes. Always the same recipes, always a different result.
You used to let me cook cowboy stew and you and Dad would eat it even though it was disgusting.
You made me take my anger out on the garden rake.
We used to decorate the Christmas tree with the old mice and the toilet roll fairies…after spending 4 hours trying to construct it.
We had to go in the roof wearing rubber gloves and tea towels on our heads and wooden spoons because of the wasps nests.
We dug a massive hole in the garden because we couldn’t buy any turf.
Me and Holly hid behind the brown sofa and ate your big bar of Dairy Milk with nuts and it made you really, really cross.
We used to sit in the bottom field with the long grass, river and lovely flowers hanging out with Sonny after I’d been riding.
We used to spend a day just shopping because we had nothing better to do…and it was ace.
We used to sit in the kitchen to all hours putting the world to rights. With wine of course.
My friends were jealous because you were my Mum and we were best friends.
You used to wait up to hear me come home and then just go to bed without shouting at me for being late.
We used to cook scotch pancakes on the Aga.
You told me to only regret the things I don’t do, not the things I do do.
I used to be sick off school and you would make me endless toast with strawberry jam and let me sit in the orange armchair with a duvet all day even though I wasn’t really sick.
How when you were cross with me and it made me sad because you were cross with me.
You used to tell me I was lucky to be me because I could have been a tree. What?!
You used to say ‘ask your father’ when I wanted to do something you didn’t want me to do. And he’d always say ‘yes’ which made you mad as he should have known better.
Judy jumped up at the table ate your steak when you were on a diet and you cried.
You used to stick your arm out in front of me when you were driving and had to brake as if that’d stop me shooting through the windscreen.
We went on holiday and you hurt your ankle and couldn’t walk and I left you on the beach in the rain.
You hated me and Dad watching Bottom and The Young Ones which made it so much funnier.
You taught me how to shave my legs.
I don’t remember a lot, as you know, but these things are all part of my life and I love them and you very much. You’re my best friend and always will be.