Sunday, 6 March 2016

Dear Mummy

Dear Mummy,

You may have seen ( have seen because I watched you read it) I wrote a letter to Daddy not too long ago, a matter of days in fact. In it, I thanked him for being so wonderful and doing so much for everyone: Felix, Polly, Matt, the grandchildren, the in-laws, me. Now, it's your turn.

As I write this, you're upstairs at home, sleeping. On Mother's day. You're not feeling your best but you've got to rest and sleep it off because tomorrow you're going away for a well-deserved break to Lisbon with Dad. Whether your body or immune system feels happy with this idea is besides the point. You're getting on that plane no matter what. Because you deserve to.

This year hasn't been the best for you, or even the last two. What with car accidents, hospitalizations - for both you and me - operations, holidays booked and cancelled and, earlier this year, the loss of my lovely Grandpa, your wonderful dad, you've been through the whatsitmacalled and back again. Yet you've still gone and done it all. Even when the anxiety has been eating away at you and you haven't slept properly for days, you've always been there for me, for Felix, for Dad, for friends and for Grandma. Today, despite feeling poorly and probably needing to stay in bed with endless cups of tea and a regularly re-filled hot water bottle, you dragged yourself out and went to visit your mum. You did it because she needs you and because you care and that's just what you're like.

On my second day at Leighton Park, Jane Ireland said those famous words 'You have a wonderful mother,' and it's true, I do. She didn't need to tell me. From the day I was born, I've put you through a lot. My body has acted up and you've spent way more time than anyone should in A&E at ungodly hours of the morning and sitting on wards in the Royal Berks, trying to distract me from my worries, even while, knowing you, you were probably worrying yourself. I put you through the traditional teenage years of hormones and crying and shouting over the b***** f****** algebra homework and my stupid, pointless geography revision...etc. the list continues. Yet you never gave up. Not even when I was panicking at uni, when I decided to leave and then I didn't know what my plan was next. You always have been, and you always are, there.

I've grown up in a world filled with mothers who are around a lot. Mothers who picked their kids up from school everyday and cooked their dinner in the evenings. As you know and read in my letter to Daddy, my childhood wasn't like that. You were always disappearing and reappearing at ridiculous hours, home from a long, hard slog at the office. I used to come and visit you there and sit reading, colouring or getting my third cup of hot chocolate from the drinks machine down the hall, while there you'd sit, typing, reading, documents, papers, phone calls, Oh I don't know! Silently I'd sit there piping up every now and then to question when we could go down to the cafeteria for lunch or when we could go shopping. I'd go and drop in on your friends who worked with you, people I'd grown up meeting and greeting and being told:

'Gosh, you've grown! You're much taller than when I last saw you!'

It's funny how time and developing works, eh?

Not only are you ridiculously clever and hard-working though, but you're also so busy! As Ruby Wax talked about both in her book 'Frazzled' and in the talk she did on the subject, we live in a world where it's important to be very busy all the time. You're one of those admirable people that manages this necessary life trait incredibly well. Always with a theatre ticket or three in your handbag or a restaurant booking on your brain, you've always got places to go, people to see. This is one of the first times in my life that I can recall there not being some huge holiday booked for sometime in the near future. Every year since Felix and I were very small, our holidays have been filled chocablock with new destinations and adventures. We've done safaris, India, the USA, Egypt, Oman, Tunisia, Turkey, France, Italy, Sweden...the list continues and you never seem to run out of ideas.

Even if we don't go too far afield, there's a cottage booked in Cornwall or in some distant part of the UK, near a beach or in a little village. Your band of friends is forever expanding joined by ladies who share a fascinating interest in the card game Bridge, couples who share yours and dad's need to flee the country and go and explore and those crazy bunch of fools who chose to follow a career path into law. All of these people as lovely, and interesting and big-hearted as you. Thank God, or else how would I have ever achieved having such a wonderful collection of Godparents. A combination of your friends, dad's, Polly's and I am supported on all sides by a fabulous bunch of (slightly mad but always loveable) ladies and gentlemen.

You're a family girl. The big sister of the bunch and over the last few months, more than ever, I've watched you and your younger siblings grow closer and closer. Some of my favourite occasions are when you and your sisters and Darryl are placed in a room together and you start to converse. It is rare that a conversation involving any combination of the four of you does not end in someone crying with laughter. It's in the genes so it's a good thing we're the same size...!? ...genes... like...jeans...geddit? God, I'm a card.

'A card'. A Warnford-Davis/Mandy phrase that no one in the real world understands. One of many. I'm a card, Felix is a card...but God forbid anyone else is a card because they'd probably assume they'd been insulted and flounce away. This runs alongside lines such as 'Good plan, Batman' in response to the communication of a...good plan and possibly...nidgel...or something like means small but I'm not sure if it's a real word or not. There are others, I know but for the moment, that's all I've got. Basically, you have your own vocabulary and I think that's pretty cool.

Pretty cool when you add it to your intriguing, unique fashion sense. Both you and dad always manage to achieve the prize of best dressed at all the parties and no one could ever describe your outfits as dull. If I manage to grow up half as fashionable and exotic as you in what I wear, I'll be proud.

So, you may not know where the ironing bored is or how the washing machine works, you may leave your many cups of tea until they're stone cold and show up 10 minutes late for every meal because you're either still in bed, on the computer, or on the phone but you're still my mum and I wouldn't have you any other way.

I love you to the moon and beyond...and back again...and then circling the world a couple of million times...I love you a lot.

Big hugs and thanks for being so wonderful.

No comments:

Post a Comment