So, tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and that means that today Mr Cadbury will be doing cartwheels for joy, and florists will be beaming, and card shops will be packed with last minute customers grumbling about extortion and pulling disgusted faces at the soppy verses. Happy Mother’s Day to all you lovely mums out there. It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it as they say. And, boy, it can be really tough…
So what are your plans for tomorrow? Are you being whisked off somewhere amazing and being thoroughly spoiled and pampered all day? Or are you going to consider yourself lucky if they remember to grunt “Happy Mother’s Day” at you before demanding to know where the cornflakes are?
I remember when my three youngest were little and they spent the night at my sister’s – a rare occasion as they were a handful to say the least, and not many souls are brave enough to take on three children at once – and she gave them money to go to the shop at the top of the street to buy me a Mother’s Day present. Every single one of them came back with a box of jam tarts. I think they must have been on offer at the counter or something. My sister was crying with laughter as they all solemnly presented me with jam tarts for Mother’s Day. Yes, it was unusual, and no, it wasn’t exactly flowers and chocolates, but it gave us a laugh and I still smile whenever I see a box of jam tarts. I may have forgotten some of the more conventional presents they have given me, but I will never, ever forget those.
It’s when I remember things like that that I wish they were all still little. My eldest is thirty-one this year, and even my baby is twenty-two in June. We used to be a very tight knit bunch; all seven of us sitting round the table for tea every night, lots of laughter and squabbling and noisy, chaotic Christmasses and windswept caravan holidays with whining children and grumbling parents. Fabulous.
Things have changed quite a lot. My youngest grandchild is being christened in May and, frankly, I’m dreading it, because the state of play with the family at the moment goes as follows: Eldest child not speaking to either parent; middle and youngest son not speaking to each other; youngest son not speaking to father; two daughters only just speaking to each other after major falling out; parents not speaking to each other after showdown earlier this week which has left us in need of space from each other – lots of it. So, as you can see, it’s going to be fun, fun, fun. Things are so fractured that I’m spending Mother’s Day with my mother, brother and sister. Obviously, I will see my youngest child as I am currently living in her spare bedroom. Have I ever mentioned that? Other than that, I don’t know how or when I can navigate my way around the warring factions in order to please everyone. I’m really, really hoping that things get sorted out soon, but it’s hard. When I think back to all those years when they were small, and the house was so noisy I used to hand out paracetamol with the cups of tea when we had visitors, I get quite misty eyed. I used to wish the days away, longing for the time when they’d all grown up and I’d get a bit of peace. Now – well, let’s just say I wish I could do it all over again and treasure every moment of their precious childhoods.
And talking of mothers…This week I went to the online launch of Kate Long’s book, Bad Mothers United.
We were asked to give an example of something we’d done when our children were little which demonstrated that none of us are perfect (to put it mildly)! I’m not going to repeat the example I gave (it was embarrassing enough to admit it once!) but it turns out that my contribution won me a signed copy of the novel, which duly arrived on Tuesday. I look forward to reading it, although I’m not sure if my name was just picked out of a hat or if I got it for being the worst example of motherhood they found. I hope it was the hat…
There have been some other great new releases this week. My attention was caught by Mandy James’s A Stitch In Time
and Sue Welfare’s Cooking Up A Storm. (Have tried to post the link but it doesn’t seem to be working! Anyway it’s available on Kindle and jolly good it looks too!)
The trouble is, my to-be-read pile is growing every day. I obviously have a book-buying addiction, and they all look so flipping good! Maybe I need therapy? For being a book addict AND a bad mother??
Anyway, in other news, I got back behind the wheel on Tuesday. Yes, my first lesson in nine months and it went…brilliantly! I had worried that I wouldn’t even remember how to start the car but, in actual fact, I was amazed how quickly it all came back to me. My theory test is booked for early next month and I have just bought the DVD to help me revise. This could be the year when I actually get my licence. Maybe. Hopefully.
That’s me for this week. So, if you’re lucky enough to still have your mum, give her a hug and tell her you love her. It will make her day. And if you’re a mum, give your kids a hug and tell them how much you love them. If they’re grown up it may make them look at you suspiciously and demand to know if you’re ill, and if they’re little they may hug you back and tell you they love you, too, or they may acknowledge you vaguely as they fly past on their way to win a Quidditch match, or sonic a Dalek – or buy you some jam tarts – but somewhere deep inside us all, there’ll be a warm, cosy glow, and the world will seem just that little bit kinder.
Have a great week x