Sunday, April 3, 2011
Your mother spends nine months carrying you around.
This is her 'L' plate time, she learns to avoid certain foods, fast drivers, hot sun, alcohol and nicotine.
Already you are number one in her life.
For the next five years, you will make her tired, irritable, increase her grey hair quota by at least 50%.
Her conversation skills will decrease, most of her sentences will begin with 'Be careful... ' and 'Don't...'
She will never sit down properly again.
She will perfect that mother half sitting down, ready to rise and fold something pose that every mother from Athens to Zaire learns instinctively.
She will stare longingly at photographs of herself from her pre-child years where she was wearing a bikini and holding a drink in one hand.
She will stare most intently at the novel lying in the sand and remember that was the last book she actually finished reading.
She may attempt to open a newspaper on Sunday mornings but it will never be read in it's entirety until you are least twenty one.
From the ages five to eighteen, she will mainly spend her time like a car assembly worker, making sure all your parts are in working order.
You will be vaccinated, your temperature checked many times, seasonal items purchased and added to your wardrobe.
She will revisit her school career with you, which will prompt old buried school memories for her involving algebra and science tests.
All through these years, she may hold down a paying job. That will always take second place.
She will sit through hours of boring meetings and take criticism from her bosses / co -workers and not bat an eyelid.
But if anyone dares look at you sideways in the school playground or any other place where children congregate, she will simultaneously, be heart-broken and incensed on your behalf.
She will produce three meals a day for you over these eighteen years.
She will then act surprised when on your first day in your student flat/ gap year hostel/ house share with friends, you ring her to ask her 'Emm.. how exactly do I cook?'
A good mother will tell you to google 'Jamie Oliver' and invite herself over for supper.
When you are around twenty-one, she will attempt to pick up a newspaper again.
However, she will now be reading it at dawn, because she can't sleep as you are out doing something with someone somewhere she doesn't feel comfortable with.
Mothers have vivid imaginations, so when you arrive in at 6 a.m, remember that she has already created a back story in her head about your night out which involves drug barons, dodgy male characters and kidnapping.
Notice that she has her hand on the telephone, she was about to ring the hospitals, the police and the Air Rescue service. She has their numbers on speed dial.
She will carry these fears in her heads even when you are 30, married and going on holiday with your family.
She just won't verbalise it.
She will spend the two weeks you are away, worrying about child snatchers, fatal car crashes and malaria.
She will do this even if you are just going to Dingle
So, a mother's job is 24/7/365.
Remember those figures. They are vital to your relationship survival.
You will never be far from her mind, even if she has reinvented herself and is doing a 'Shirley Valentine' on a Greek Island.
She will spend most of that time thinking about you, well, maybe slightly less time if she is suddenly single and meets a nice Tom Conti lookalike.
But the conversation with the Tom Conti lookalike will very rapidly involve your name, age and personal details. She will most likely produce photographs.
So this Mother's Day, remember to bring flowers.
Motherhood is not a job, it is not a vocation, it is a MISSION.
Your mother's mission is to keep you safe at all times.
She is a ninja warrior. Don't mess with a ninja warrior.
Go on, buy her some flowers!!
And preferably not some petrol scented ones from a garage.
Remember, she gave up bikini wearing for you.
Make your Mother happy this Mothering Sunday.