Sunday, 13 May 2012

Thoughts on this day, Mothers day

Today it's Mother's day, and I thought I'd write a wee something, in the honour of trying to write shorter posts more often :)
A rough start today, with hubby out insane-early to church and me having my first ever Sunday on Kids this morning (what an eye-opener), with lots of things to remember to bring and organise. Add to that a small boy who decided it was fun to use his snuggly lamb toy as a whip on his sister, and said sister walloping him back - all while I was trying to type out PowerPoint song lyrics on the kids computer - and I was exhausted before I even arrived!
But after church and after a meltdown my husband gave me this:
Oh yes. Not just 4 pieces either, which still would have been great, but heaps of pieces. And no, I'm not sharing. Well, I will share it with him since he paid for it but not with anyone else!  (And he didn't go out and buy it after I had a meltdown, he'd already got it. Plus a hand-made card from my kids. Organised husband, I salute you.)

Mothers day isn't a nice day for everybody. I think of friends who lost their mums well before they should have. I think of relationship breakdowns. I think of the kids today in church who didn't come with a mum, either because she's not around or she isn't the one bringing them to church. I loved Lisa-Jo's post "For the Motherless daughter", she says anything far better than I can and she gets it. I don't think you'd ever understand what it was like to not have a mother unless you didn't have one.

Some memories of my mum from my childhood are around various creative activities, though she probably wouldn't call herself overly creative in an arty sense. I'm grateful she nurtured that in us. School holidays surrounded by Lego villages. One set of holidays where I was obsessed with making clowns - ping pong ball heads, fabric bodies, funny colours. Her teaching me cross stitch, and how to use the sewing machine. As a child, watching her (probably nagging her, more likely), as she sewed us our tracksuits - very trendy in the 80's I have to say - and then getting to go to the shopping mall with her and choose a print from the fancy place where they put a picture on the front of your sweatshirt. The one I remember most was a Persian cat, hideous pastel coloured flowery thing that I adored. Pale pink tracksuit. White blonde bob haircut... you get the picture.

Mum introduced me to my favourite author, Madeleine L'engle. She managed to navigate choosing books for me in my pre-teen years which I just loved, which could have gone very wrong. The Little house series, Anne of Green Gables, Frank Peretti's Cooper Kids adventure books. My most favourite book was the first one she bought me of Madeleine L'engles, called "A ring of endless light". Actually the third book in a series about Vicky Austin and her family. Vicky is the middle child, a poet, misunderstood and hiding in the shadow of her blonde, outgoing younger sister. She explores identity and death and doesn't shy away from issues that sometimes people wouldn't want to discuss with kids that age. As I went into my teens my Grandmother became the one who introduced authors to me. Kate Atkinson's "Behind the scenes at the museum" was the beginning. I loved Carol Sheilds, another introduction from her. A doorway into a new world, grown-up and beautifully written. I haven't had the concentration to stick at books like those for years now, but on my Grandma's 87th birthday this year I bought her "Walking on Water" by Madeleine L'engle, and it is special to be able to reciprocate those moments of book-sharing, and of not knowing you loved something until it landed in your hands and you turned the pages. My Grandma also reads every Jane Austen book, every year, and I haven't done that in years but would love to follow her example once life allows for sitting with a book with long paragraphs and older language again. At the moment life allows for re-reading of extremely easy books, in between breaking up squabbles between small children.

Happy Mothers day, everyone. Whether you are one, or have one, or you don't, I hope you enjoy celebrating today those around you who bring life into the world - for that is indeed the most significant thing about a mother, and something that's gifted not only those of us who have gone through labour and childbirth. Women have in them the inherent characteristics of the creator, and he granted us that gift, the gift of giving life, of creation, of bringing life into the world. We can do this with our words, our friendships, our personality's, and our homes. May you all feel blessed and noticed today, beautiful life-giving women.

Sarah xx

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