All About My Mother

12 May

Oh, mothers.

They push our buttons, drive us crazy, and somehow still love us after we’ve screamed and ranted and never picked our clothes up off the floor.

What is it Baba Ram Dass says?

“If you think you’re enlightened go spend a week with your family.”

I stood at a card rack this week, sifting through dozens of schmalzy pink Mother’s Day cards with saccharine poems inside. The girl next to me sniggered at one and rolled her eyes at me. “Seriously,” she said. “Does anyone buy this shit?”

Mother’s Day can sometimes feel like such platitudinous crap.

But as I prepared breakfast for my family this morning, I noticed the way I cook comes from my mother: how I crack eggs, measure flour, clean the kitchen as I go. That all came from hours of Mum’s patient training.

And it's all 99% fat free!

And it’s all 99% fat free!

It makes me think of thousands of those other things my mother has done for me: wiped my nose and tied shoelaces for the 1000th time, brushed my hair while I shrieked, taught me how to read and write and appreciate words, posted me my favourite chocolates, trekked endlessly to help me choose shoes to match yet another bridesmaid’s dress, listened to me sob on the phone after another broken heart.

Encouraged me endlessly to chase my dreams even though they take me so far away from her.

I don't have a spare hand right now...

I don’t have a spare hand right now…

My relationship with my mother is perfect, in that I come to stay with my parents and am promptly reminded just how much work I have to do on myself. That it’s easy to feel calm and centred teaching yoga and meditation in the jungle, not so easy not to react to someone who pushes all your buttons.

So it’s nice to remind myself what it is I’m here for. How can I communicate better? Connect with more love and compassion? Give myself a break for reacting and speak with kindness when I do react?

This piece by Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar helps me connect with that. I’m so, so lucky my Mum is still alive and in my life and committed to us having a relationship.

Next time you find yourself wanting to revert to your 16 year old self, take a moment to read this again:

“Your assumptions about the lives of others are in direct relation to your naïve pomposity. Many people you believe to be rich are not rich. Many people you think have it easy worked hard for what they got. Many people who seem to be gliding right along have suffered and are suffering. Many people who appear to you to be old and stupidly saddled down with kids and cars and houses were once every bit as hip and pompous as you.
When you meet a man in the doorway of a Mexican restaurant who later kisses you while explaining that this kiss doesn’t ‘mean anything’ because, much as he likes you, he is not interested in having a relationship with you or anyone right now, just laugh and kiss him back. Your daughter will have his sense of humor. Your son will have his eyes.
The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.
One Christmas at the very beginning of your twenties when your mother gives you a warm coat that she saved for months to buy, don’t look at her skeptically after she tells you she thought the coat was perfect for you. Don’t hold it up and say it’s longer than you like your coats to be and too puffy and possibly even too warm. Your mother will be dead by spring. That coat will be the last gift she gave you. You will regret the small thing you didn’t say for the rest of your life.
Say thank you.”

Thank you, Mum. I love you. 

Mumma Eka Pada Adho Muka Svanasana

Mumma Eka Pada Adho Muka Svanasana


One Response to “All About My Mother”

  1. Jo Flamer May 17, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    I love you too ! xxx

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