Given that it’s Mother’s Day today, when we celebrate the presence of having such strong, amazing and beautiful mothers in our lives, I thought I’d write this post as, well, a tribute to you. I wish I could be one of those bloggers who just write and say whatever stuff comes into their heads at the time and not bother too much about spelling and grammar, but I can’t do that. Anyway, here goes.
First up, I’d like to start off by saying that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for causing you and Dad so much stress and anxiety by turning up in your lives three months earlier than originally intended. I can imagine that it must have been hell for the both of you as I lay in the ICU, tubes and wires and needles and God knows what else poked into my incubator trying to keep me alive. But I like to believe that what really gave me a fighting chance was the way you used to sit by my incubator and read Beatrix Potter stories to me, as well as giving me cuddles when the nurses gave you the all-clear. You used to tell me that I cried and got all fidgety if you stopped reading, which I’m not surprised to hear cause I absolutely LOVED you reading me stories before I was able to read them for myself! Also, I’m sorry for sometimes not being the easiest kid to raise (let alone be around at times), so I have compiled a brief list of things I am ashamed of doing in your presence as a child:
- That one time I had just got my Restricted and ‘borrowed’ the car to visit a neighbour but didn’t tell you where I was going, and you were on the phone to Grandma thinking that I had stolen the car and run away, or something.
- When I told one of my primary school teachers to “shut up” to her face while being distracted and not actually realising what I had said until she told you…and then you told me off for it and made me apologise to her the next morning. Which I did.
- That one time after the earthquakes when my school was shut and I was looking after the house and you came home after a long day teaching at the local school expecting to see the fire lit, dinner on and the washing in. It wasn’t. Sorry.
- On one occasion when you had to rescue me from the back of one of my pet sheep as she careered down a hill at top speed towards a field of green grass at the bottom. I can’t think why this was a suitable exchange from horse riding.
- For pulling tissues out of a tissue box when I was a baby for no reason at all and leaving a mountain of tissues behind me.
- For falling into the water race when I was a toddler and for giving you and Dad (as well as myself) a massive fright.
- For having my head stuck in the clouds on multiple occasions and for being, at times, forgetful, self-absorbed, untidy and having the wee meltdown every so often over LIFE in general.
But then again all kids are like that and it must have been such a relief when you and Dad sent me off to boarding school and thought, “Ah, free at last.” (I’m joking, obviously, but there must have been some sense of relief that you guys had the house to yourselves). Parenting is one of the hardest jobs in the world, and what I really owe you is a massive THANK YOU for everything you’ve done for me over the years. So here are a list of things that I am thankful for.
- For giving me the freedom to be creative and experiment with paints and glue on our wooden dining room table, as well as letting me leave my doll’s house with furniture and bits and pieces on the floor of our lounge – sometimes for up to a week. A WEEK!
- For spending time with me on Queen’s Birthday and organising a ‘girly weekend’ where we’d stay in a local hotel, go shopping, go out for dinner and then finish the evening by tucking into packets of Tim Tams and flicking through trashy magazines. If I ever have a daughter one day, I’m definitely going to do this with her.
- For sacrificing so much time, energy and money into sending me to St Margaret’s, which taught me so much, helped me make the friends I have today and left me with fond, lasting memories about my teenage schooldays.
- For teaching me how to cook and bake. I remember standing at the kitchen bench with you, helping you melt butter, mix flour and of course, lick the bowl and spoon at the end cause as a child you know that’s the best part! And thanks to that time when I put a teaspoonful of baking soda into my mouth because I wanted to know what it tasted like, I now know.
- For cooking my favourite dinners for me the night before I left for school, which became known in our household as ‘The Last Supper’. Roasts, lamb chops, chocolate pudding, apple pies and pineapple shortcake were (and still are!) definitely a highlight.
- For letting me come home for the weekends when I was at boarding school and for letting me spend at least 50% of my time eating pretty much everything in the house because living off food from the school cafe meant it felt like the first ‘real food’ I’d had in weeks.
- For making the effort to ask me about what I’ve been reading lately and to share your own new-found literary gems. A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French is probably one of my favourite books, and it’s all thanks to you that I’ve read it!
- For teaching me about proper spelling and grammar, as well as teaching me as a little 5-year old in my first class EVER at primary school. Yes it was so weird not being able to call you ‘Mum’ like I usually did at home but in the end I got used to it. Plus, it was comforting to know that after school, if I’d had a bad day, I could go and sit in your classroom and eat Farmbake biscuits and build stuff out of Lego while you sat at your desk and did teacher stuff.
- For sitting by my bed when I was little and reading me bedtime stories and giving me back massages before I went to sleep.
- For being a shoulder for me to cry on (over the phone) during my breakup with my ex boyfriend.
- For pretty much letting me into the great outdoors to explore when I was younger and not telling me off when I used to walk through the tunnel under the road by the house and play around there. I’d hide in the long grass and climb up trees with my trusty sidekick Polly the cat by my side, splash around in the creek down the back and get soaking wet and go for long walks over the hills, and you just sat back and allowed me to enjoy exploring outside.
- For watching America’s Next Top Model with me when we both had nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon.
- For being a tower of strength for me after I got my wisdom teeth out, by supplying me with my daily medication and letting me lounge on the couch watching The Vicar Of Dibley and eating chocolate ice cream the moment we got home from the hospital.
And trust me, that’s not even the half of it. I could go on and on and on but you’d be sitting here all night wanting me to shut the hell up so you could switch the computer off, go to bed and read the latest book that tickles your fancy! But most of ALL, thank you for always being there for me, for giving me cuddles when I’m sad and advice when I need it the most. You’ve given me the power to chase my dreams and not stop me from being myself and from doing what makes me happy. And if and when I eventually become a mother myself, I hope that I do as bloody good of a job as you have of raising a child (me!)
I love you, Mum. Happy Mother’s Day.
Your daughter, Bindy Xxx