We’re a funny old pair, me and you. I bring the funny, you bring the old – obviously.
We’re no good at affection – not to each other anyway. There have been so many times when I’ve waved you off with little one and said, “do you want to tell nanny you love her”, it’s about as close as I can get to the words myself. You told me once that you weren’t encouraged to show affection when you were a mum; I guess we just got into a habit. Now it seems too late to start.
But it isn’t too late, not yet. Last month I realised that one day it would be; you might not be in my life for as long as I hope. “I can’t cope without you”, I said tearfully as you lay there in the hospital bed, strapped up to all those monitors. You smiled and told me I could. And you’re right you know, I could cope. I’ve coped with a lot of things since becoming a mother, some harder than others, but no matter how hard it is I’ve always made it through.
What I meant to say is, I don’t want to cope without you.
You’re there when no-one else is. You’re the only person I can turn to, truly turn to when everything is crumbling. You’re the only one I can call when my son is screaming blue murder and he won’t stop and I don’t know what to do, you’re the only one I can call when I feel like everyone hates me and you’re the only one I can call when I’m feeling a panic attack rise. No matter what, I can call you and you are always there for me.
It’s much more than that though. You’re not just the one I can call when things go wrong. You’re the one who I can call when things are going right.
You’re the only one interested in how my son – your grandson – did at gym class, you’re the only one I know who wants to sneak in to take a peek at him silently sleeping when you stay over, you’re the only one who wants to come and watch him swimming, you’re the only one who wants to know what his latest phrase is, you’re the only one who is interested in me messaging you photos of his latest escapades. You’re the only one who loves my son on a par with how I love him. After all, you’re the only one alive who carried the egg, that carried the egg that made my son. The three of us, a set of Russian dolls.
We have taken time to get to this point and it’s still often not plain sailing. I feel criticised, you feel snapped at. I’m no good at asking for help, you’re not sure how to help. But slowly over the past few years we’ve come together more; you step in, I reach out. We’re far from perfect but you’re my mum, and now I’m one too I’m starting to appreciate just what that means.
If it wasn’t for you, my own mother’s day would go by unnoticed, but you never let that happen. It’s not about the card you make or the the chocolate you buy though. It’s about having someone to teach my son how to show me love. I know when I’m not there you talk about me positively, and you encourage him to think of my feelings. It’s a crucial life lesson, one the co-parent usually provides, but I don’t have that luxury. I do have you though, at least for now. I know that the influence you’re having on him is helping to create the caring person he will become. Just like you influenced me to travel the world and never learn how to cook.
I hope you will be around to see I what influence you have on him too, and just incase you aren’t, I want you to know what a huge part you’re playing in moulding him.
What I’m trying to say is:
I love you.
If you’re missing your mum this mother’s day my heart goes out to you.