In all honesty, I can’t believe it is almost mothers day already. How is it March? I swear yesterday was New Years Day! Time is flying. But then I think, if time is flying for me, how does mum feel? I’ve moved out, so has my brother, and my sister is approaching 15 with all the backchat and attitude that accompanies it.
I keep being reminded of all the crazy wonderful things my mum and I have gotten up to over the years. Specific reminders because of Etsy UKs #everydaymum tag on facebook. It has literally opened a floodgate of funny stories and sad stories. How can I summarise my amazing, loopy mother in 140 characters? The truth is, I can’t.
My mum is my biggest supporter, my biggest cheerleader, my biggest reality check. She’s my devil’s advocate and my voice of reason when I feel like I’m drowning under the pressure. She is the one person I trust won’t ever leave me, and the one person I trust most in all realms, universes and worlds. Because she’s my mum.
I think there are two huge things I have to thank my mum for.
The first one, is teaching me to be strong. For teaching me to fight for my happiness and stand up to what I think is wrong. She taught me to reach for the moon, because if I miss I’ll land amongst the stars. She always told me to try my hardest, because that is what justify rewards. She taught me to always do thinks the right way, even if it takes longer. She told me that bullies would lose in the end because I’ll be better and stronger as a result of the tears they caused.
She told me I was beautiful (I still don’t believe her) when others called me ugly. She told me to keep reading, to keep dreaming, when others called me strange. She taught me that its ok to be different, that different is really what is normal. And I’m sorry for not believing you when I was a teenager mum, when I was trying so hard to be like everyone else. When I was trying to hide behind the persona I thought everyone else wanted me to be.
Mum taught me that breaking is ok, because you come back stronger. That sometimes, its okay to cry and get upset, because it’s what your soul needs to heal. I learnt that family comes first, that together we are stronger than we are divided. I may mock and annoy my siblings, but by god if you turn on them, you’ll have me to answer to.
I learnt that violence is never the answer, that a few well chosen words can do more good to a person’s self confidence than any new dress or new hair ever could.
I learnt to stand alone, to be independent. But even now I’m independent, I know, I still need my mum to pick me up when I fall.
The second thing I have to thank my mum for, is teaching me to dream.
She taught me that its ok to see the world differently, that its ok to imagine a better one. She bought me books of far off worlds and magic and hope. I learnt that imagination is the strongest tool I have. As I got older, she bought me art materials and helped me discover amazing places and things I could never have dreamed of. She took me to drama classes and helped me learn my lines and watched all my performances. She never tried to curb my imagination when I got ‘too old’ (except when seven year old me was convinced giant spiders were going to crawl out from under the bed and eat me).
She taught me to be creative. Arts and crafts were regularly played in my house growing up. I remember coming home from school one day when I was about 11 and mum announcing that we would be painting Elmer on the playroom wall because she thought it looked a bit bare. When I rediscovered art only a few months ago, expressing surprise at how much art material I had growing up when I never was much good at it, she fixed me with her best unimpressed mum look and said that I had never thought I was any good, didn’t mean I wasn’t any good.
She is crazy, bonkers, off her head. But she is one of the best people I know, so Lewis Carrol has it right. I don’t think she ever really ‘grew up’. Actually, I know she hasn’t, because just last week, we bought a pack of wax crayons and bought the hairdryer down to see what sort of patterns wax made when it melted (the answer is a lot of laughter, fun, singed fingers and mess!).
When I started sewing, it was because of mum. She had asked me to make my sister’s Roman costume a few weeks prior. I wasn’t happy with just pinning a sheet to my sister so I made her a toga dress with pins and tucks down the back. It was only out of an old bedhsheet, but I hadn’t felt that pleased with my own work in a while. Weeks later, exams were over and I was at my wits end. So I bought a magazine and started a love affair with sewing that has yet to start to lose its shine. She let me tear up bedsheets and only got annoyed when she stood on a pin in the living room.
One of the most important lessons my mum has taught me is that laughter is good for the soul. That a smile is worth a million words. She always says to find something to laugh at, even in the most stressful of situations, and you will make yourself feel better. I say to look for the silver linings because its a change to see the sun.
My mum made me who I am today. She held me up, and helped me learn to stand. She taught me to be creative, and imaginative, and to never let that go. She taught me strength and facilitated the hobby I love so much.
If I ever become half the woman my mama is, I will be a very happy crazy lady indeed!
So here’s to you Mum! Thank you for being you, and helping me be me. I want you to know that I give thanks for having you for a mum every time I apply something you taught me.
Much, much love, your little girl (I would say angel but I doubt I was ever one of those!)