Not a mother…


It’s mothers’ day in the antipodes. I’m happy to celebrate and recognise all those mothers out there, including my own who at this moment is arriving back in the old country of England after a three-month sojourn here in Melbourne. It was lovely to see her and sadly I just missed spending Australian Mothers’ Day with her as she flew off last Friday. I say ‘Australian’ because Mothers’ Day in England is on a different day. It’s in March – she was here for that so we had a kindof celebration that day.

In fact, I try to make every day Mothers’ day for her as we only see each other every couple of years. I live in Melbourne, she in England so when we’re together, we avoid controversial issues that might cause us to quarrel and stick with playing cards, playing scrabble, visit neighbouring towns to wonder at the cost of the coffee or the badly made tea and the strange obsession with selling all things cheap and Chinese in every shop we go into. What has happened to local artisans? (that’s a whole other post!)
It does mean that we don’t always talk about what’s on our minds or what’s making us sad or even what’s really joyful. It’s a careful kind of company that we keep. It’s keeping the peace.
So today I would have liked to tell her that though she’s in a later stage of life, she should still get out there and enjoy as much of it as possible and not worry what anyone thinks, or says, or doesn’t say. I think of her easy access to the wonders of Europe and the beauty of England on early summer days and hope and wish she gets out into the countryside and enjoys a walk at Stonehenge, or on the Downs in Dunstable, or through the craziness of Oxford St in London where a 25 degree day equates to a heat wave and you can’t buy an ice-cold drink for love nor money.
She could walk through Hyde Park and wonder at the amazing cheekiness of the squirrels who virtually mug you for edible tidbits. Or she could just sit at a cafe overlooking the pebbly beach at Brighton, with a cup of tea in hand and wonder at the way things change but still stay the same.
She could visit my aunt and uncle (her brother and sister-in-law) in Dublin where she’s from and have a laugh and a joke over an always filled up cup of strong as tar Irish tea. She could take a walk on the Ha’penny bridge in Dublin that crosses the Liffey and think about where’s she’s from and how far she’s come and how well she’s done to bring up three crazy but happy daughters who are living equally amazing and happy lives, for all their complaining.

As a non-mother on Mothers’ Day I sit a little wistfully and wonder at what all those women would have done with their lives if they hadn’t had children. I likewise wonder what else they could be doing with their lives now they HAVE had children. My mother gave us a great start to life and continues to help us grow and prosper. I wish i could encourage her that her life still goes on and that having children was just one of the amazing things she was and is able to do. Thanks Mum for all you’ve done for me and my sisters. Now. Go out and get something else for yourself. So many beautiful places and adventures are still waiting for you. Happy Mothers’ Day.

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