I spotted this on one of my friend’s Facebook timeline and I loved it. It made me smile and I think every girl (once she’s past the age of about 21) can relate to it. When you are suddenly a grown up, you find yourself appreciating your mum, for all her strengths, weaknesses, failures, successes, individual quirks, differences, eccentricities and everything and anything in between.
My sister and I have laughed today. I think we have to make a conscious decision to be lighthearted about the situation. I think that is the only way we cope, most days anyway. We had struggled to get hold of Mum or Dad since a concerning phone call first thing this morning, by my dad telling me that things were pretty bad. He was awaiting a visit from the psychiatric nurse who was coming out on an emergency call. Since then, neither Emma nor I have heard anything – this always leads us to start panicking slightly. “Maybe she’s done him in?” I joke on the phone to her. She chortles back, “Yep, she’ll answer the phone later and tell us she’s eventually got rid of this pest of a man with a kitchen knife!” Laughter sometimes hides our darkest fears.
I did, eventually speak to my mum tonight (I didn’t ask to speak to dad as this upsets her enormously – I just hope the young boy she mentioned was in the kitchen cooking her dinner, was in fact my father and she has not ‘done him in’ and laid him under the patio flags). She told me she’d had a lovely walk this afternoon with all the children (there are none, just her, Dad and the dog) and that now they were all back again. She was hoping there would be no more ice balls (I think she meant snow), as this makes the day very cold and she asked how my baby was and whether all my babies sleep through the night (they are 9, 7 and 2 and have slept through the night since they were about 12 weeks old). This is our new reality, but the fact that she wasn’t whispering down the phone at me about sex-crazed men trying to get her to go upstairs with them, or telling me that the man over there, Stephen, was having an affair with Sarah (which was one of the oddest conversations I have ever tried to keep up with!), then I suppose it’s a positive. And instead of crying today, we have laughed.
We sometimes laugh about the fact my mother can answer the phone and stay silent, deadly silent for about 2 or 3 minutes, with us at the other end shouting “Mum! Mother, are you there? Hello?!”, before, in her own time and seemingly oblivious she will shout “HELLO? Who is this?”
We sometimes laugh about when Mum has told me that the men in the house hold me in “very high esteem.”
We try and laugh when she tells us how much better she is and how everybody is telling her how well she is doing, how she will be better soon.
We laugh loudly when we remember her polite questions and glances as we watched a film with her some months ago, clearly thinking she was in the company of strangers and was therefore on her very best behaviour.
We choose to laugh because the alternative is too sad.
Mabel, my 2 year old has just come in to my study, where I sit most nights writing my thoughts and she has asked me for a cuddle. “You sad Mummy” is what she has just said. I told her I wasn’t sad, not today, that Mummy was happy. “No, Mummy sad.” Perhaps the laughter is a mask only I can see? Perhaps to others, including my 2 year old toddler, it is completely transparent.
But, what alternative do I have? So, I will continue to smile and laugh, where and when I can and I will straighten my crown and try to always remember whose bloody daughter I am.