“Oi fat old lady!” – No, not some troll heckling me but my six year old son shouting and giggling uncontrollably in the playground. I was really shocked by the rude, albeit somewhat accurate, greeting. Out of the mouths of babes and all that.... I am holding on to the fact that at least he said ‘lady’.
Of course, with the indulgence of the mother/son relationship I forgave, probably too quickly, putting it down to boundary pushing and the sometimes incomprehensible boy humour.
Being a mother is a strange dichotomy - we are 100% needed but yet completely taken for granted. Frustrations and irritations from the day are often taken out on us and woe betides if we forget a gym kit or snack.
My daughter used to say she wanted to live with me forever but now says she’s “moving to America to live in Disney Land” – oh my poor heart.
Already fail-safe routines are changing – my son now doesn’t want baths with his sister – only ‘grown up’ showers. My daughter won’t always be slipping her hand in mine as we cross the road or crawling into my bed first thing in the morning.
They say that you never know when something will be for the last time and I try to be mindful of that when we are once again playing shop or starting yet another game of hide and seek.
And when exasperation strikes at the constant giving I try to see it from their eyes – we are pretty much their world right now; they don’t care about the menu in a restaurant or the décor of a hotel....they just want to be with us. We determine if their day will be full of joy or sorrow and what a responsibility and privilege that is.
As we get older and perhaps become a mother ourselves we can appreciate fully what our mother has done for us. I still rely heavily on my own mother and all too often still take her many kindnesses and even her love for granted.
I suspect she wouldn’t have it any other way (although a few more thank you’s would probably not go amiss...) and perhaps this is as it should be, that children should be able to rely on us completely without consequence or the expectation of something in return.
At any rate, every mother’s day I look forward to my present of gluey sticks, leaves, straws, pompoms on a card and long may it continue.
“The days are long but the years are short” – so, so true.