I’m not into the whole “give your mother a brand-new mix-master to show her that you love her” stuff. Our family has always said that we’re not getting into that commercial rubbish. But the principle of Mother’s Day is a good one – tell Mum that you love her.
Now that I am a mother myself, I have a different appreciation of and respect for my parents.
When I gave birth to my daughter, I was totally overwhelmed by the love I felt for her. I wanted to protect her from all harm and I wanted to make her happy, and let her know that she is loved so very deeply. Being just slightly neurotic, for the first two weeks, I would even wheel her into the loo with me, just so I could keep an eye on her. She is one of the joys of my life, and will always be so. I spoke to my parents about this feeling, and my Mum said, “Well, we still feel the same way about you to this very day.” I am even more respectful of Mum and Dad because I was born very prematurely, and they were told not to hold out much hope for me. But Mum says, “We could tell you were a survivor. I had a feeling you’d always fall on your feet.” How terrible it must be when your first child is ill. And what strength to come through it!
Now that I am a parent, I know that they don’t give out a manual explaining “how to” – we’ve just got to work out what we think is best. Sometimes we might get it wrong. But I know now that my parents meant the very best for me from day one. I feel bad for my own teenage years: I think I told my parents I hated them quite a few times, and did some other terrible things. If only I could take those words back! Now I understand that all they ever wanted was for me to be happy and safe. I am glad that I got to share the experience of being a parent with my own parents and I love them all the more for what they have given me. Thanks, Mum and Dad!
I’d like to thank my husband too, for being the best father to my child that I can imagine. He is fantastically helpful and a real hands-on Dad. He is caring and considerate, and my daughter and I adore him.
Finally, to my daughter: thank you for just being you. Thank you for letting me know what it is to be a mother – the love, the pain, the worry, the funny times! I love every fibre of your little being. I would do whatever I could to spare you from harm, but I know that won’t always be possible, and that I’ve got to let you run free and make your own mistakes and decisions. I look forward to seeing you grow and develop, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be a mother.