I heard ‘Almost17’ in the shower at 6am (we had to leave for the airport at 7); he soon came into my room fully dressed, with still-damp hair, where I lay in bed reading before getting up.
Him: Move over Mum.
Me: [Really??] OK Sweetie. [Sliding over, slightly stunned, but pretending I’m cool…]
Him: Happy Mother’s Day.
Me: Thanks. You know I think it’s a load of Hallmark crap don’t you, but that’s still lovely, thank you. Are you bringing me peppermint tea in bed?
Him: No, I’m too tired. I didn’t get home from the party till 1am. *Rolls on his side away from me*. Spoon me Mum.
Me: [REALLY??] OK Sweetie. [Spooning behind him, completely stunned, gingerly resting my arm on top of him and the quilt because, you know, I’m Cool…]
Him: No, properly Mum, under the covers. Please let me sleep for another 15 minutes.
Me: Sure honey…
*Lie there holding my baby boy as he begins to twitch and dream, breathing deeply. For how many nights did I hold him until teenage-hood? How many times did I soothe him when he was sick or fretting? How rarely does it happen any more…?
I know none of these answers right now. All I know now is the utter peace of lying here, being ‘Mum’, and providing a safe haven for my child, however briefly, just like in the old days:
I want to stop Time.
Wishing every Mama out there a meaningful connection with her child or children, even if just for a moment. Also honouring each woman who chooses not to birth or parent, or who can’t, or won’t. Also acknowledging those of us who suffered postnatal depression or other challenges, and women who have survived terrible mother experiences or childhoods. There are endless complex stories, held by multitudes, and the simplistic myth of ‘maternal instinct’ can be deceptive.
But let’s remember and agree that we are ALL mothered and nurtured by our planet Earth, who deserves as much love, respect, and care as we can give her, today and every day.