I am working and I can't see my mum. Sister (the uncaring one according to Mother) is in some place called Robe in South Australia with friends. Hopefully my brothers will step up to the crease and make sure Mother has a good day. Bone Doctor and Little Jo after staying here overnight called will call in on Mother on the way to see Bone Doctor's mother in a South Gippsland place Little Jo used to call Kookaburra.
Families are strange. The modern overtly kissing and hugging family is not the way I was brought up. As R says, in our day, children were part of the family, not the focus. Our parents looked after us but fairly well left us to develop as we would, and to do our own thing. Of course they cared, but it was not proved by smothering love.
Having said that, when I was about four I was at a neighbour's place watching tv with the lad of my age and his mother. I had seen how his English born mother hugged him and cuddled him. I wanted the same. I moved closer to her on the couch. I could tell I was making her feel uncomfortable as she stared with intent at the tiny black and white television screen through her Dame Edna glasses.
Oh well, that is just how it was back then. Australian and I guess many English children did not receive overt love.
Of course Tradie Brother was much the same as me and he then married into a cuddly overtly loving family, that I might add of the five sisters and I don't think any of them are now on speaking terms with each other. It was all rather alien to him and I not sure he ever really embraced (pun not intentional) the concept. His children were brought up to be loving with each other and their mother, Ex Sis in Law. She overtly loves them dearly as they do her and hold her in high esteem as do most people who know her. Her affection and care now extends to her grandchildren and she has put in some very hard work with the now two year old twins.
ABI Brother's affectionate endearments go no further than saying hello but I know he cares about family.
Sister is only openly affectionate with Little Jo, but no one else. Little Jo is not at cuddly kissy person. R can get a decent hug from her but my hug response is perfunctory.
And then there's Sister's spouse, Bone Doctor. She and her family are in a whole other league. They must keep vaguely in touch and know what each other is doing, but that is far as it goes. Her father was a GP Doctor who retired very early because of mental health issues. He at times lives away from his wife. BD's Mother has recently retired as a theatre nurse and travels the world with a female friend, from Antarctica to Bulgaria to Estonia and much in between. Their next planned holiday is to some of those awful former colony countries in Africa. Does she have a death wish?
One of BDs sisters is a medical radiology technician, the other a pole dancer, roadworks sign person and whatever earns her money. Her brother is chronic online gamer and pron watcher and on a disability pension.
BD's parents and her brother came to Sister and BD's wedding last year, but BD's sisters did not. Little Jo respects her grandma and grandpa, as she refers to them, but I don't know that there is much in the way of affection there.
Well, as I've said before, nowt as queer as folk.
My mother wasn't always the whining and complaining about physical illness matters person that she has become. She was outgoing, vivacious, flirty, glamorous and so entertaining. She was quite crazily funny at times, often at her own expense. She and Late Step Father took our nephew and nieces out for Sunday trips in their car so many times, on different drives, spoiling them and taking them to all sorts of interesting places. They haven't forgotten that either, and they hold their Nanna in great respect. Unexpectedly on R's Mother Day last Thursday lunch, Firefighting Nephew turned up to see his Nanna. She was so chuffed.
Mother can't live forever. Here is a note I may send her in the future.
Thanks Mum for being you. While you have never had to work a proper paid job, you worked and worked very hard for your children. When you had money, it was all lavished on your children and all about their lives (never mind your Imelda Marcos like shoe collection) Your children all have their issues and frailties but we are ok people and while it may sound self aggrandising, I think we are a credit to you.
We all love you very much Mum.
The love for Mothers on this Mother's Day should know no bounds, yet I know for many it does. Happy Mother's Day to you terrific mums, and you don't have to be perfect, just give lots of love while remaining a parent.
Later: Why do I feel the need to prove my mother to Little Jo? Little Jo is nearly teen years and has teen ignoring what old people say, yet I know she heard me.
Little Jo, you will see your Nanna tomorrow. She wasn't always the old and frail person she is now. You know how your Mum and Bone Doctor get you up in the morning, make sure you have breakfast and get you to school. Your Nanna used to do that for four children, and make dad's and my uncle's breakfast, along with another uncle at times. It was nothing for her to prepare and serve seven lunches and dinners. And yet Little Jo, each week she went with dad to the local dances. She shopped for clothes and shoes in Melbourne and always out glammed anyone else on the dance floor. To see Mum and Dad sweep the dance floor was magical.
A few of my schoolmates saw me shopping with my, even back then very slow walking window shopping mother. Wow, they said. Your Mum is so glam, ot however it was phrased back then.
Little Jo did not respond at all as she was obsessed with Annabel Crabb and the 1940s, but I know she heard what I said.