This morning my phone made its usual muted ‘beep’ sound which I knew, instinctively, was my morning email from mother.
She emails me every morning. She will generally ask me what I have been eating, if I have been eating, how my mood is, how her grandson is and what I am up to. Then perhaps a list of what to ‘be careful of’: Toasters in the bath, knocks at the door, standing in front of the microwave, train lines, gas, risidual dishwasher soap etc.
If she hasn’t emailed me by lunchtime – I will email her – there must be something wrong.
This morning’s email caught my eye because the subject was “Morning Sunbeam” – I don’t think she has ever called me that before. I don’t think anyone has called me that before. She must have started having Tequila on her Shredded Wheat.
The email went on to ask how I was, did I want to go to a soft play place on Saturday (we would take the toddler too, not just the two of us) and that she wanted to treat my partner (35) and I to fish and chips tonight.
This is typical.
This is my mother.
My mother should be on a cruise ship somewhere in an exotic location drinking mojitos and eating macaroons in a deck chair wearing Prada shades. She’s not – she’s hard at work, despite her being the age I won’t mention on here because she would have me killed. And she’s hard at work, and not on a cruise ship in a state of retirement – because of me.
In my 32 years she has tried her absolute hardest to give me the absolute best of the best.
She has supported me through several ventures in higher education.
She has supported me through several changes in career.
She has supported me through several different men – through all my catastrophic mistakes.
And by ‘supported’ I mean financially as well as emotionally.
And when I moved cities – to Leeds – she moved too.
This isn’t surprising – she would move across the world to be with me, to be with her grandson.
I am her only daughter. Her only child.
While she would have had enough love for a dozen children, fate would have it that she was only able to have one.
And the one she has is a sarcastic little madam who has given her grief, made foolish choices, and failed to stand on her own two feet more times than I care to mention.
Outsiders might see my jokes about her overprotective nature, my eye rolling, my sighs of “Oh Mother!” and think ‘How rude!’ They might comment that I’m a spoilt so and so. They might comment that they don’t get the ‘closeness’ of us. But they don’t know our bond – and they don’t hear how many times we tell each other we love each other a week. They don’t see us behind closed doors – and I wouldn’t change our close relationship for anything in the world.
She doesn’t get the thanks she deserves.
It hurts so much that I won’t ever realistically be able to ‘pay her back’ for what she has done and continues to do.
All I can give her are the two grandchildren she has waited so long for.
She is an unbelievable grandmother. She has spent her life giving me the world and she now wants to give the world to my son (and his sibling on the way). My son’s first real word was Grandma (Graagraa) and his face illuminates at the sight of her at the door – most days after work.
We are all so lucky to have her in our lives.
And, this weekend at least, I leave my sarcastic comments on the shelf, and give her the credit she deserves.
Mother – I don’t know what any of us would do without you.
Happy Mother’s day!
(and I’ll give the dishes a second rinse when they come out of the dishwasher).
Come and find me at my new blog http://www.mummyswritingdarling.co.uk
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Twitter : @sivitersteph