My lovely mum turns 70 years young next week and whilst we have been trying our best to make sure she feels special on her big day, it has also made me feel a little reflective about our own relationship.
For many years it was just “Doris” and I. With my older brothers fleeing for university before I had even hit my teens, and my dad doing a runner when I was just seven, it’s true to say the sisters were left doing it for themselves. This formed an incredible bond between the two of us, whilst simultaneously also making us want to murder each other in our sleep. At the time, all I wanted to do was drink Lambrini, smoke fags and snog boys, and that’s pretty much what I did. But there is nothing like being blessed with your own daughter to make you look back and gasp in horror at your teenage years.
You simply cannot comprehend the level of sacrifice your parents gave you until you become parents yourself. As I wipe my thousandth bottom for the day and deal with my hundredth tantrum, I have recently marvelled at how many more years of parenting we still have to come. Whilst I of course love the thought of watching my beautiful babies grow into wonderful grown ups, there is also a tiny part of me that wants to hide behind the sofa at the thought of all the work and worry that will accompany those years. Bile literally rises in my throat at the thought of guiding them through the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll days, and my mum by and large did this on her tod. And despite my brothers bets that I would be up the duff by the time I was 16, I didn’t fall pregnant! Paints quite the picture, hey!?
After spending so many years trying to hide from my poor mum’s protective glare and, much like Beyonce, be an “independent” woman, I have now never needed her more. It turns out that being a wife and mother is a tough gig and my mum is consequently treated to daily calls (sometimes more – lucky devil!) demanding tips such as how to remove shit from a sofa, as well as intensive emotional support. It’s safe to say that my darling mum has saved my sanity this summer. When the days get a little dark she is the first person I call. Whilst I know my husband will always have my back, he is programmed as daddy to always consider our children too. As her little girl, my mum is allowed to think about just me and what I need to get me through the next minute, hour, week without locking myself in the toilet and refusing to come out again.
In short, it is no exaggeration to say my mum is beyond any doubt my best pal, and quite frankly I couldn’t be the mum I am without her.
Happy birthday Doris, I love you.