My Photo
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!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I hope they know.

Mothers, as is our wont, tend to do things for their children that will go unnoticed. The younger the child, the less they notice, the marvellous thing about a child getting older is they become more aware.
Each child will differ and of course each child will react or act on their differing awarenesses ( is that a word? It is because I just WROTE IT!)
I don't, as a rule expect any praise or thanks ( other than basic good manners when I have cooked you a nice meal you ungrateful little squirt, say "thankyou" not " eww, I don't like that!" Actually funny story, when Sophie was 5 or 6 she went though a phase of " eww I hate that, that's DISGUSTING!" every time I gave her anything that wasn't egg and chips, I taught her, parrot fashion, that this was very impolite and hurt my feelings and all she needed to say was " Oh, I'm not terribly keen on that but thankyou anyway" or something along those lines.
She stayed overnight with one of my friend's and I collected her just after breakfast the next day. My friend gave me Sophie's overnight bag and told me that she didn't have an abundance of cereal for breakfast, in fact, all she had was bran flakes. She said Sophie ate a spoonful and pushed the plate away saying "Oh that was DELICIOUS, thankyou! I hope I never have to have it again in my whole life." Nearly there.)
I digress.
I do, as a mother, what I do because I love my children and I had them to love them, teach them and do all the housework. Darn it if that last one turned out a vain plan.
I have never had money and that has never been an issue. My big children have never, not even once spoken about their childhood and mentioned not having anything ( apart from Sophie who is convinced she spent her childhood locked in a cupboard being fed bread and water and poked with pointy sticks)
I have learned and am very good at making a £ do a tenner's job and proud I am of that too.
It's Dan's birthday today and his birthday comes at the very end of a marathon slew of birthdays, oh my goodness if we aren't completely birthdayed out by August 25th.
The birthday fest starts with mine on July 24th and then we have july 26th, 29th and August 9th, 10th, 22nd and 25th.
Daniel, from the age of 10 has positively hated his birthday, when he was 10 he said " I want to spend the day being very bored and I don't want anything" and he meant it. For a few years I MADE him have fun dammit, I just couldn't stand the thought of not mentioning it or having cake or SOMETHING to mark the fact he was born. I am so happy he was born and the fact that he was born to me is, quite frankly splendid indeed.
I called him yesterday to ask him what he was doing on his birthday ( ever optimistic!) he said ( of course) "Actually, nothing, I don't have any money at all but I have paid for the stag party ( in Barcelona ) and am ready for that and the wedding. Anyway, no-one knows it's my birthday so I don't have to do anything, perfect. "
I told him I had just out £30 in his account so he could at least go out with his friends or something. He was so touched, his voice cracked and he thanked me, he then sent 3 texts thanking me and then he sent another text this morning that said
" just so you know you are the best mum anyone could ask for!! I cannot tell you how much I respect and admire you. I just thought you should know that:-) Love you xx
That, well that is when you know you have done something so right, so fabulously right.
When your children are small, it can feel such a thankless task, doing all the mundane every day tasks over and over again, usually without anyone actually knowing you are doing them. I do so much of what I do when everyone is asleep, like a housework fairy. There have been so many times when I have transformed a chaotic and child torn home into a gleaming palace while everyone sleeps and I don't ever remember a time when someone has come down in the morning and gasped in admiration and gratitude and actually, that doesn't matter, what does matter is that my big children, the ones that have left home and are privvy to all running a home and being a big person entails, well they DO know, they see and the understand and the glorious and splendid thing is that they let me know they know.
I am shamelessly proud of how Daniel and Jordan have shaped their lives. They work hard and they are kind, gentle and funny men.
Jordan is getting married in 4 weeks, the wedding is to be a pretty darn grand one by my humble standards and he has paid for it all, I think Mel's mum has paid for her dress and the bridesmaids have paid for half the cost of their dresses, everything else Jordan has paid for. He hasn't complained once, he hasn't asked for any help ( other than rides to out of the way places) HE has run his home, cared for his baby and Mel and he has worked and worked.
I want to give him and Mel something that will make them happy. I so wanted to be able to hand them a lump sum of money and help them but I can't. What I decided to do was get a big bottle and save all my change, every day when I have been shopping or out for the day, I take all my change and any £5 notes I have in my purse and I put them in the bottle. Once the money is in there, it doesn't come out. No matter what comes up or what we may think we need, it stays in the bottle. I have listened to Sophie beg to borrow some and promise she will pay it back, I have thought about things I could buy if I used some of it but it stays in there. Only once did I use it and that was when the car died and we bought the new one, it's been a tough job to refill it since then but I am getting there!
I was hoping that there would be enough in there for Jordan and Mel to go away somewhere for a honeymoon, I heard this week that the owner of the restaurant where Jordan works has paid for them to go to Bournemouth for a week, that is SO exciting, this means that the money I have saved will just be spending money, money they don't think they will have.
Even though they think they won't have any spending money they are so excited to be going away on their first family holiday, they refuse to leave Joshua and are excited to take him too.
I have 4 weeks to fill the bottle. There is nearly £300 on there at the moment and it is just about half full.
I have been putting £5 and £10 notes in which means there is more in there but the bottle isn't getting filled very quickly. I think I will have to go to the bank and change notes into £1 coins to fill it better!
I hope they know, when I give them the bottle that although it isn't much and isn't impressive, it is filled with more love than money. Every time I put money in there I do it with as much love as I can possibly give, it is magazines I haven't bought, Indian meals we haven't eaten, petrol we haven't used, day trips to places that charge an entrance fee we haven't been on.
I know, without second guessing that if I gave them £50 in a card they would be thrilled and grateful, I know it.
I just want them to see the bottle ( actually they have seen it, it is right by my sofa next to the fire, a couple of times Mel has seen it and said "Oh there's no way I could have that and not spend it, how can you not use the £5 notes?" so they have seen it and asked once what it was for and I just said "Oh, I don't know yet, Christmas probably" So I am hoping that when they get it ( the day before the wedding I will take it down to them, I don't want them to use it to pay for anything, I want it to be for them to use and enjoy after all their bills are paid)they will know how proud of them I am and how much I love them.
I hope that in the next 4 weeks I can put another £200 in there £500 was my goal when I started and I'd be there if that blasted car hadn't died ( and then the brakes on the new one went, that kicked a hole in the syphoning process again!)
I wish I was as excited about finding an outfit to wear to the wedding, ack that's like a stabby little hurt in my brain when I think about that task. I am psyching myself up to get that out of the way in the next 2 weeks, I hope when I have found the magical outfit that will make me look 5 stone lighter, 10 years younger and not at all self conscious at being on the top table ( with the first one, so help me.) I will start to relax about the actual day and look forward to it more.
I wish I liked social occassions more, to me they are painful trials I jave to endure, this one I will endure gladly, with a smile on my face and I shall take heart pictures and hold every moment close by until I am a very old lady. I hope they know how much I love them, these children of mine. I am learning that the breath holding and the parenting doesn't stop when they are grown, sometimes it is more heart stopping because you can't step in and tell them what to do anymore, it's incredibly hard keeping quiet when you think you know what is best but it is enormously satisfying to watch how they choose what is right and grow so strong and proud.
I don't have money but I am pretty sure I am one of the richest people I know.



Blogger Kourtnie :) said...

Oh Helen, your words have so much beauty in them! I guess we all strive to do what we can, but without love-- it doesn't mean much. What a delightful surprise for Jordan and Mel! Here's to more happy heart days :).

11:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful from start to finish. I am having a day where I wonder how the heck I managed to produce entitled little snots :) Except the sweet youngest who isn't quite 2. This is just what the doctor ordered. Your children are amazing because you are amazing. I hope you enjoy your son's wedding. XO

4:50 pm  
Blogger Tired Mom of Six said...

I wish I could be there to see J & M's face when you give them that bottle. THEY are so blessed to have you in their lives and the best thing is that they know it. You're my hero, Helen. I love you. xxxx

2:04 pm  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home