Being a mum is a lot of who I am. Motherhood is certainly how I have leant many of my lessons. It is also my greatest joy and my biggest challenge…often at the same time! It teaches me and gives me words to share. So far on this Mothers Day all of this has happened…and all before lunch.
I woke to a distressed child…a very sad sounding girl. So thoughts of a sleep in went out the door and I walked in hers…door that is! The smell was the first clue as to the problem; a quick glance at the mattress protector the next. But it wasn’t until I saw her top that I realised the extent of both her discomfort and my job ahead. To save a young ladies dignity I will spare the graphic detail. Suffice to say she needs a new doona…and the only thing I didn’t wash was her face (thankfully!) and her hair (though that was a close call).
If ever there was a reminder of the meaning of the day this was it. Mums…to be fair, parents…don’t have a day off. For carers of children with additional needs this is even more true as we look at the probability of being in the hands on role for much longer…or for always (if we are lucky). It can be a thankless job at times and I was so ready to throw a tanty this morning after cleaning her, stripping her bed, soaking some clothes with the rest straight in the wash, giving her meds, starting her breakfast….blah blah. Isn’t it supposed to be about me today? But it’s as much about her (and the gorgeous him who paved my mothering way and broke me in) as me. For without them I’m not a mum. And there are some things that only a mum can do (there was a helper hovering but my clever big girl has chosen to not have the males in the house help with personal care…and I respect that).
So I chilled a bit and did what I had to do…what I needed to do to help her. Then, in the relative calm of a Playschool episode, I retreated to bed with a book. I was only alone for a short while before the dazzling spoiling began. Hot tea and warm croissants with jam. Smiling faces excited to give. A generous and lovely man who took the kids out to choose a gift for me…then amped it up by adding his own extravagance. They also gave me a lovely box of tissues…which came in handy as tears of happiness and overwhelming gratitude began. They know me too well!
Today is also the first Mother’s Day since we lost Nan. I miss her. I’m thinking a lot about her and my dad and aunties. Many lovely people out there will be finding today a challenge. That has not gone un-noticed. Those whose mums are no longer here are in my thoughts. As are the mums of angel babies who must be longing for a smudged card and a smooshy kiss. These thoughts make me even more grateful. For I am blessed. Lucky to be the mother of my two cherubs (can a giant still be called a cherub?). And ever so lucky to be appreciated and thanked today…and many other days too. From one hand-scrubbed-washing-soaking mother to all of you…may today have smiles and hugs and good wind to dry by.