40 years ago today my mum spent her birthday having me. We would joke that I was the gift that kept on growing and never went away! I think the number of birthdays we haven’t spent together is in the single digits which given how busy we’ve been over the years is pretty remarkable. Sharing it with my mum is what makes it special.
I have been extraordinarily lucky to have her as my mum. From day one she has been fiercely on the side of her daughters. She has kept me alive when I turned blue from asthma and she was told she was a panicky mum. Let’s ignore the fact she’s a nurse! She never let anything hold us back. My mum always put her family first. Whatever decision she made it was with an eye for doing what was best for us. I honestly can’t think of anything she did when we were growing up that was a just for her thing. I am happy to say that now if she wants to treat herself she does. A blow for freedom as she likes to say.
Throughout her career she worked long hours to make sure our family never went without. I know she has wondered from time to time if it took away from us important time. I don’t think she realises that the time she spent with us was quality time and we never felt cheated being latch key kids. We never resented her having to be on call or work crazy overtime. Because she did that we had a roof over our heads and got through college without any debt. She was also the major reason why kids flocked to our house. There was a good chance of homemade cookies and milk. Let me tell you, her baked goods are hard to beat.
Mum and I are a lot alike. We share so many of our traits both good and bad. We can be stubborn, we like to be in control of the situation (though good luck getting either of us to admit that too often 🙂 ), we can be pretty fierce when we stand up for ourselves or our family. I have to say she does that better than me. I’m all fiery and she comes across as cool and collected but you know you stepped over that invisible line. We share the same thought that our kids are the greatest thing since sliced bread. After all, without family, what’s the point. We love to dance in the kitchen while cooking. If there weren’t books in this world we’d be a bit lost. We cheer for the underdog. Ginger is the first line of defense against illness before medicine. Homemade gifts are the best, especially from your kids. Food is one way we show our love. She used to bring me lunch when we worked together. Leftovers from the night before. It was awesome. When I was away at college I would get homemade cookies and congo bars. I was the envy of the TV lounge. 🙂
Being a parent I find myself acting like my mum a lot. I’ve even stopped myself in mid-sentence with the kids and say I sound just like her! When they giggle I tell them to just wait until they have kids. But you know, mum was right on a lot of things. Chewing gum is not attractive! Making me wait until I was 12 to get my ears pierced was the right choice. It’s ok to use tough love. There is a long list.
I guess I was trying enough as a child because when I started parenting my children they were 3 and 7 and I was bewildered or exasperated at something and my mum just burst out laughing and said “I have lived to see the day!” Thanks.
So thank you mum for being our cheerleader. For being there for all the ups and downs. You are an incredible woman and I am so glad you are on our side. And I am so proud of you for all you’ve accomplished in life, it would make for an amazing story. Happy Birthday, Lady. 🙂