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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Today and always.

Today is mothers' day, that means ( or it should) that if you have children you will be pampered and be given flowers and chocolate, you may well even have soggy toast and warm orange juice in bed.
As mothers we feel that this day gives us credit for being who we are. When our husbands take our little children out and let them choose a gift, when they help them to hide surprises we believe that they get it, they understand that we deserve recognition for doing what we do.
When I became a mother I understood my mum more.


That's my mum, I get my photogenic gene from her, we both always see a camera and within seconds a 'huh?' look becomes frozen on our faces, not for us the huge grin and shiny teeth pose, oh no, mum and I go for the individual look, that one in a million face that makes us stand out from the crowd.
If you ask anyone that knows her, what they think of her, you will hear words like, gentle, kind, private, honest, ladylike ( she doesn't know how to burp, for real! ) She does know how to fart though, she will be quite at home dropping a ladylike fart in a shop and then scuttle off leaving me surrounded by her cloud......taking the blame as every good daughter should ( but only because I haven't yet found the courage to stand up and say loudly " I will NOT take the blame for that one, come back and own stink!" in the China Blue knick knack shop. One day though, one day.
My mum was the disciplinarian in our childhood, she was fair and just and very patient and when we heard that stern but quite "RIGHT!" our legs would turn to jelly and we would grip both buttock cheeks, run on the spot and start screaming " SORRY ...I'm so SORRY! I didn't mean it, HE made me do it!!" ( My poor brother David got the blame for everything, the only boy, we scarred him for life with the miserable things we did to him!)
Once you went too far though, there was no turning back, if she had warned you that you would get the slipper if you did 'that' one more time, you'd get the slipper and dear butt cheeks those things hurt. You can't buy them anymore, I think the government recalled them because mothers across England in the 1970's were leaving little zig zaggy weals across the disobedient arses of the children of the country. Little flat, bendy rubbery sort of slipper shoes that made a whistling sound just before they made your bottom feel like it was on fire for about 6 hours.
I can remember getting the slipper, I can remember being very sorry that I hadn't stopped doing what I had been doing the time before I did stop.
I know that it wasn't a regular occurrence and that once we had felt that slipper we would be very careful not to earn it again. I know that we were good children, that our parents could take us anywhere and know that we wouldn't shame them. We all grew up into good people who know right from wrong and who all love our Mother, even though we got the slipper when we were naughty.
I got the slipper more than anyone else because I never knew when to shut the hell up. ( no, Sophie gets it from her dad) When that conversation would start.....that " Now....what did I say would happen if..." conversation, all the other kids would say " oh, yes, sorry I forgot, I won't do it again"
I would say something like " well, you said I would get the slipper if I hit David again, well I didn't hit David, I threw my shoe at him" And on it would go...... " but you definitely said I couldn't HIT him I DIDN'T HIT are so UNFAIR! I can't believe that you are really going to hit me when I actually didn't do what you said not to do.....why are you so unfair, how come you always pick on ME???? OW! OWWWWWWW!" Then...would THAT stop me? Of course not... " well, that didn't hurt! You haven't even made me cry because I am not going to cry because that's what you want me to do and so I am not going to OW OW OW What's THAT for?? "
Then David would walk past and whisper " ha ha!" and I would so let him have it...HARD.
And they all used to tell me how I was the clever one.
My mum has the loveliest voice, she says lovely words and I remember when I was about 14 she said something about breasts.... " BREASTS?? Who says THAT anymore, I can't believe you said breast..ewwwww"
" Oh I beg your pardon, I meant TITS!"
I think it took me a week to shut my mouth and pick my jaw up off the floor, she never swears and she said TITS.......she always knew how to make us stop short and remember stuff.
We always went to my mum in the daytime, when we needed something, we trusted her and knew she would always have the answers, which was very annoying when I was 15. WE went to my dad in the night though because my mum is deaf and clever and always slept on her 'good' ear, I suspect she told everyone what marvellous sleepers we all were and how once we were in bed we stayed there and isn't that a treat? We woke up my dad, who was patient and kind, who was easily woken and always knew what to say, usually " oh dear, snuggle down and curl your legs up and you'll feel better in the morning" Amazing how adopting the fetal position can cure tummy ache, nightmares, leg ache and teenage angst.

It is 2 years next week since my dad died. I hate it as much now as I did the day he died, more even because now I believe it.
I watch my mum and the grief is etched on her face and she looks so tired without him. She cries sometimes but usually when none of us can see. They were married for 49 years and since she was 19 he did all the finances, he didn't tell her about it, he didn't let her do anything with the money, she had her money and he kept an eye on where that was going and sorted out any hiccups, he was a banker and had a methodical mind, a money minded person, we all assumed that he knew what he was doing, no-one really knew that he robbed Peter to pay Paul and then took out a loan to pay back Peter. He left no money, had no life insurance ( apart from a crummy accidental policy, well listen here insurance people, he didn't mean to die did he??) He scraped by on what he had.....when he died he left the loans and his pension was cut in half, so mum has all the outgoings and half the money and there is no-one keeping an eye on it and sorting out the hiccups.
She remains our mother, which might sound a bit obvious but it isn't, in May she will be the time HER mother was 70 she had somehow become my mothers child, my mum had to think for her and do for her and take care of her. Nana wasn't senile or even close to it but she became needy and wanted mum to 'see to it' and make it all OK. I am glad that mum is still my mum, occasionally I will feel the urge to take over and make it all better, to start bossing her and telling her a better way to do things but I remind myself that she is the mum, if she wants me to do things I will drop everything and so what I can, I would happily take over her finances and straighten them out and show her that even on as little as she has she can do a lot, she doesn't want that and so it is not my place to presume that I know better than her.
I like that she still knows what she wants and goes with it. She has learned to say 'no' since my dad died and doesn't run around doing what everyone else wants because it's the right thing to do. I'm glad about that. We should all know when to say No.
I want so much for my mum, the great thing is, everything that she needs, that would make her life easier, needs money. That may not seem like such a great thing when we have no money so we can't get her what would make things easier and happier....but it is great, fantastic even because it means that everything she REALLY needs, everything she could possibly ever want, that matters, she already has.
She has 5 children, 3 children in law, 3 ex children in law, 18 grandchildren, 2 grandchildren in law ( sort of they aren't married but are partners to her grandchildren and have given her great grandchildren) 4 great grandchildren and an almost here grandbaby. Every one of those people adore her, no matter what they may be like in their own homes, when mum is around they behave, nobody is ever, EVER rude to gramma. In the midst of the worst times with Sophie I have wondered what my mum did that instilled such respect and reverence in us all. Even Sophie, in a wildest rage has stopped her mouth in front of gramma. Incredible.
She is incredible.
I love my mum. Happy Mothers' day mum.



Blogger TN said...

She is beautiful! I LOVE the look on her face! You are so blessed. I wish her a happy Mother's Day also! Clara

3:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And a happy mothers day for you too!.

3:32 pm  
Blogger *~*Zann*~* said...

Happy Mother's Day to you AND your wonderful Mum! She must be wonderful because I have a feeling that you learned from her!

8:20 pm  
Blogger sarah said...

Happy mothers day to you both. Your mother looks just lovely. Neither of you look old enough to have children as old as you do:)

9:32 pm  
Blogger noname said...

And Happy Mother's Day to you, too. Wonderful story!

I did the 'that didn't hurt' thing, too, lol.

10:58 pm  
Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

she sounds perfectly wonderful! I sure hope you both had a lovely mother's day!

12:32 am  
Blogger Becca said...

Happy Mother's Day, I too remember the slipper =)

1:12 am  
Blogger LosingSanity said...

Happy Mother's Day to you and your mum.

3:07 am  
Blogger sarah said...

hey helen can you email me please thank you so very much....

12:52 pm  
Blogger Jenn said...

better late than never right? Happy belated Mum's day to you and yours.

2:58 pm  

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