Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy Mother's Day

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.

19 comments:

  1. Ah yes. Mothers. Tough group they are. My Mom and I never really got along, and it was very hard. I grew up believing that she hadn't wanted me and my pregnancy was a total accident. Which it may as well have been.
    Mother and my sister were very close. So close that it left no room for me. It always bothered me.
    At Mother's Funeral, her best friend (who I cannot stand!) came over to me and said this: "When your mother told me she was pregnant with you, I told her to abort you! I would help! But she wouldn't do it! How stupid!"
    This terrible woman thought she'd hurt me, but it was just the opposite.
    You see, Mom could have done away with me, but she didn't. Surprise pregnancy or not, in the end my mother wanted me.
    That day I forgave her for all our problems, and now I remember the good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not at all surprised you can't stand that friend. Love the poetic justice in the fact that her statement designed to hurt you was a healing gift.

      Delete
    2. Maribeth, what a cruel and nasty person. I am pleased some good feelings for you came out of it.

      Delete
  2. A truly lovely tribute to your mother. I hope you do give her that note. Soon.
    I grew up in a family which didn't hug or kiss much at all. We had no doubt we were loved though. Not always liked, but certainly loved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EC, I shouldn't leave the note too much longer.

      Delete
  3. I like to think that my own mother did everything in the right proportions. She must have read that 'How to be the perfect Mother' book. My father was very different. He was simply a nominal person who welcomed me home from school three times a year, and wished me well as I went off again, three times a year (I was at boarding school). I'd see him during the holidays, but we never did anything together. A very traditional Father of his age. I am very different with my own children.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cro, do you wish it was otherwise with your father? Do you feel you missed something?

      Delete
  4. I went to a fancy coffee shop for lunch today and found the many tables, inside and out, were packed. The weather wasn't spectacular, so I assume families were taking mum out for her special day. Families apparently still take it seriously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hels, when out and about I saw much of that today.

      Delete
  5. 'Tis lovely for you to talk about your mum on Mother's Day, I'm sure someone in the family will read to her what you have written.
    Youngest son who lives with us gave me a card and gift, card says on the outside - Thanks for keeping me alive Mum. Inside, You know, with the food and roof and stuff. :) laughed my head off because that is what he would say..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eh gad Margaret. No family knows of my blog and only two three friends, only one who actually know people I know and we've known her a long time, but all the same, thank you. Oh, I laughed at what your son said. How typically male. And stuff...hilarious.

      Delete
  6. I'm sure Little Jo not only heard, but also absorbed and will remember. This is a lovely tribute to your own mother, remembering her younger gayer years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks River. I know she hears even when she seems to not be paying attention. She has her uncle's big ears!

      Delete
  7. Like River, I would bet Little Jo heard you and will think on it. A lovely description of your glam mother!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so Jenny. Thanks. Not so glam now, but she still makes an effort.

      Delete
  8. you have an interesting family and so many. I rarely hear from anybody remotely related. So I think you are lucky to have family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strayer, sometimes we, especially R, finds them so much trouble, but I think the effort is worth it.

      Delete
  9. If your mum read this she would be so chuffed Andrew, she did a good job with you all. Looking through my mum and dad's old photos with my sisters recently it was fantastic to see my mum and dad as young parents doing the same things with us as we did with our kids. Btw we are a hugely kissy, huggy bunch, even if we see each other often, can never have too many hugs 😀

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grace, I am not at all surprised that you are kissy and huggy. You are a naturally warm person. I guess your son has done the same as P with his and your father with you.

      Delete