What my Mum taught me without even realising May 06 2015 5 Comments
With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday (yay!) I have been reflecting on my own Mum and all of the things she has taught me. With four children of her own, Judi has seen it all before and living proof that you can thrive amongst the chaos.
Our childhood was free and relaxed and sunny. I am so grateful to her and my amazing Dad for giving us that. I know now, more than ever, how hard it must have been at times. As the Mum, she was the hub of the wheel and she has helped achieve a relatively normal family of well adjusted adults and siblings who are now very close. As a Mum, that is all I want for the future of my own boys, but I do know it takes a lot to get there.
Of course there are the obvious things that she taught us day in and day out. Relentless, I know for sure. But when I think of her and her “mothering style” I think some of the best things she has taught us have not been intentional. It reminds me as I go about my day that there are four little pair’s of eyes watching me and how I react to what life throws at me. We are always teaching, sometimes most effectively when we don't realise it at all.
I clearly remember my Mum learning to use a computer with her cursing sounds and the annoying noise of the ‘delete” button constantly coming from the front room. Trying to “dial up” the internet and persevering to keep up with technology. I remember being made to eat carob and drink “bran water” and driving for miles to see the only suitable Naturopath in Perth in the early 80’s. She was so ahead of her time about natural and holistic health.
I remember her going back to study the Greek language when we were all in High School. My parents loved Greece and she had decided that their frequent trips there would be much more satisfying if she could better understand what the locals were saying. She couldn’t even start to learn to read or speak Greek without learning their alphabet first. So without a Greek relative in sight, she persisted with Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta….and she got there. Through the mockery of four teenagers wetting themselves laughing as well as keeping up with the daily grind, she got there. What an effort.
I watched her volunteer her “spare” time to a crisis phone line and come home depleted after a Saturday night shift. I watched her put on so many birthday parties at home making all of the food herself and inviting all of our friends, their siblings and the neighbours to join us in our back garden. I watched her embrace people from all walks of life and always look for the best in people.
I watched her and her tribe of friends pick up the pieces after each other, sharing their spare nights around in their little “Babysitting Club”. I snuck out of bed and watched their rowdy dinner parties and waited in the hope that there was a forgotten piece of Sara Lee Chocolate Bavarian. I watched her pull on her leotard and head off to Jazzercise after dropping us all at school. I watched her paint walls, clean bricks, climb ladders and cook off a camping stove while we lived through another renovation.
I watched her cope with losing my Dad when she was only 49. Her childhood sweetheart, her heart and soul. How she must have cried at night alone in her bed after soldiering through another day making sure that each one of her four kids were OK. That’s when her tribe of women really came to the fore. What she taught me about life and about being a strong woman through that dark time is very hard for me to articulate. Her infectious laugh and constant positivity taught me that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. What a woman.
She is resilient, positive and full of energy. She is open minded and forward thinking. She is strong and resourceful. She is my Mum and what a woman she is. Thank you Judi x