I realise that this post is a day premature, but Sundays can be a little full for me and Saturdays seem to have become my normal day for blogging.
Before I get started, I should state that I am aware of how fortunate I am. I’m lucky to be the age I am and still have my mother in my life – I know a lot of people who have lost one or both parents and I can’t even begin to imagine how that must feel. I also know plenty of people who aren’t close with their parents for various, perfectly valid reasons. I’m very lucky to still have my folks around and also to have a good relationship with them. My heart goes out to anyone who can’t say that today and wishes they could, because I don’t know where I’d be without my mum.
I’m sure it’s clear at this point what the topic of this entry will be, and hope you have already exited the post if you’re worried that it might be upsetting for you. I really don’t want to cause anyone pain or unhappiness.
This post is, of course, dedicated to my mum. She deserves more than a blog post in my little corner of the internet – in fact, she deserves more than I could ever give to her. She didn’t just give birth to me; she is my confidante, my go-to, and the first best friend I ever had.
My mum spent different stages of her childhood living in Northern Ireland and Scotland. My grandparents finally settled down in Dundee with their family, but after meeting my dad while on holiday in Belfast, she moved here and married him. She was engaged twice before that, though, because she is super awesome and everyone wanted to marry her apparently. My dad was the fella who won her over once and for all, though. They had their wedding reception in the Coast Road Hotel in Carrickfergus, which is now sadly vacant. Nowadays, she loves terrible soap operas, drinking her morning cup of tea in the back garden if the sun is out, and, when my dad is at work (and sometimes when he isn’t), talking loud gibberish baby-talk to the cat. Since my sister and I got old enough to stay at home for extended periods of time without starving to death or killing each other, she and my dad have taken to traveling as much as they can. Half the time I can’t even keep track of where they’re off to next! Goals? Goals.
She’s always been pretty amazing, though. I can’t remember how old I was in the first memories I have of my mum. It was before I was old enough to start primary school, so I can’t have been older than four. We had a little routine. My mum would bring me home from nursery around twelve, then put this Patsy Cline album she had onto the big record player in the corner of the living room. Then she would get on with her housework while I watched and listened. She used to have this big brown and white feather duster that looked like a tortoiseshell cat, that she would use to dust the light fixtures on the ceiling. I generally wanted to play with it, so she kept me distracted with a yellow duster cloth and got me to ‘dust’ the dark wooden furniture. I busied myself trying to clean away what I now realise was a permanent furniture polish stain, while my mother sang along with Patsy and went about her business. Most days she’d pick me up at some point and dance around the room with me. I thought life would always be like that. When you’re little you don’t really expect things to change.
It did, though. It got a lot more complicated. But she had lived each milestone before me. Sometimes I listened to her when she offered me advice, and sometimes I didn’t. Neither one of us was always right, but she was right a lot more often than I was. When I was a teenager we fought almost constantly, but when all was said and done she was there when I needed her. When adulthood, with all it’s anxieties and surprises and unexpected joys and disappointments, came out of nowhere like a sudden storm, she helped me to navigate it. Even now that I’ve found my feet and I’m out on my own, I know she’ll be there for as long as she can be. She’s been the best mum that anyone could have.
Right now, she’s on her way to Tenerife, so I won’t see her tomorrow for Mother’s Day, but I hope she’s having the best time. Lord knows she and my dad both deserve all the happiness in the world!
What about you? Is there a mother – a mother figure – that you know who deserves to be celebrated this mother’s day? Let me know!