The one thing, of the many things that unites us as people, is this. We all have a mother. Likewise, we all have a father, but today isn’t their day. Today is Mother’ Day.
We all come from somewhere. A past lies behind us, just as our future stretches out in front of us, and it can’t and won’t be ignored. It’s simply there, shouting in our ears.
Some of us are already a mum, or waiting to be a mum. Some of us have the hope of motherhood… and some, tragically, no longer have their mother just a phone call away, but… she was there. In what ever beautiful shape, size, colour, religion, age or state of health and hair style… she was there. She had to be, you couldn’t have got here without her.
Some mothers are crazy. My own mum once collected me from school on a pair of roller skates. She does stuff like that. Some are strong. Likewise I once saw my grandmother shout and shake her walking stick at someone… from a car window. Some are funny. All the women in my family, mostly the oldies, can tell you at least one rude joke…. That involves a swear word or someone being naked. All of them are silly and delightful, in the best possible way. My great aunty Edna used to tell people she bought black underwear because her fanny was in mourning. A story I have used in my play, ‘Matilda, Mike & Dan’, and why not? The woman was a riot. She once made friends with the kitchen staff at my cousin’s wedding in order to steal cheese.
All mothers have a gift or trait, that to you personally, make’s them yours.
We moved a lot when I was a child. My father was a corporal in the RAF. We didn’t have a lot of money but my mum can make a home anywhere. She can make any house, flat, villa, even a caravan, a warm, safe, beautiful space, which we could call home, for however long we lived there, and the skill… she can do it in a matter of hours. Within a day we’d be unpacked, pictures on the wall, beds made and the kettle boiling, and she’d be there, kitchen door… fag in one hand, tea in the other… my mum.
Some mothers need forgiveness. Be a lie to say mothers are perfect creatures. That the moment you become a mother, you become a better person. No faults. Be a big fat lie. They are after all, only human.
Some mothers are trying to forgive themselves. Trying to hold on to the unconditional love you are told you feel the day your baby is born and you hold that child in your arms for the first time.
Then there is that struggle… what if you feel nothing? What if nature lied and you feel nothing but fear? What if you have to learn to love? What if you weren’t ready? What if it was all a mistake? What if…?
Being a mother, I imagine, will be the scariest, greatest, messiest, funniest and toughest time of a woman’s life. To be torn between yourself and someone else. To give, with the knowledge you may never receive anything in return. It must be one hell of a journey. And all you can honestly think is… I hope I don’t fuck it up… I hope they love me… I hope I love them… I hope…
Happy Mothers Day, to all the mums… past, present and future. Xx