Mum and Dad with their first grandson, Robert in 1968
Mum was born in Williamstown, Victoria on 2 January 1922. It is eight years today since my Mum passed away. I decided to share some of my memories of my Mum today.
- I remember when I was walking home from school she often walked toward the school to meet me. I was always pleased to see her in the distance.
- Sometimes we went to Goulding’s Cafe and had a malted milkshake and a chat while listening to some music on the Juke Box
- She had lots of sayings but in particular, we learned the Golden Rule from her – do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
- Mum was a Nurse and worked various shifts. I will always remember her dressed in her navy and white striped uniform. She always smelt so pleasant as well. Often she had a lolly in her pocket and she would give it to me as she left the house – perhaps to distract me from feeling sad about her leaving me behind 😦
- My siblings and I will never forget her insistence that we made our beds properly with “hospital corners”. It is something that stuck and I still feel bad if I do a sloppy job of it.
- Another saying comes to mind: if you smile, the world smiles with you; if you cry, you cry alone. I struggle with that one considering my experience of depression over the years!
- Yet another saying, and I believe a good one: if you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all.
- I really took Mum for granted during the early part of my life. She was a very giving person found it hard to say NO to anything I asked for. She gave of her time by visiting me when I lived away from home. This meant giving up her free time on her days off. She also welcomed my family into her house at a moment’s notice or no notice at all. I would turn up with my three sons and she always accommodated us. We took over her home, her routine and her resources. Where Mum and Dad lived was always the central focus for the family.
- Mum loved her work and was well known in the local community. She was present at the delivery of many people and then went on the be present at the delivery of the following generation!
- She was well known and loved by many.
Lots of fond memories to hold on to.
Here are a few clues to knowing when the kids have grown up:
- One son, 6 foot 3 inches tall and 28 years old, tells me he knows how to cross the road without my advice and complains about hoon drivers on the highway
- another son (6 foot 1 inch tall and 31 years old)was complaining that his work mates drink too much
- yet another son (6 foot and 36 years old) needs an afternoon nap when I don’t…
Alert to Mums and Dads out there – remember they are not little forever – enjoy it as much as you can, while you can 🙂 There are different joys awaiting you when they get bigger and older!
Mind you, I remember my Grandma telling my Dad to be careful when crossing the road – he was in his sixties at the time. Maybe children will always be children in their parents eyes 🙂
Image via Wikipedia
There exist many cliches about writing. My favourite is “if you want to write, then write today”. Another one I see often is “write about what you know”. Today I will do a precis version of what I know about being a parent. I admit that I could have done a better job (as a parent) on reflection.
Are you ready?
- If you have children, make sure they always know you love them unconditionally.
- Spend quality time with your children
- Create happy times that will become happy memories (not just for the kids but for all you encounter)
- Feed them properly – meat and vegies and lots of fruit. Don’t let them live on two minute noodles!
- Teach them how to cook something more adventurous than spaghetti bolognaise.
- Do your best to avoid having to choose between your children and your partner/husband. Partners can come and go but your children are your children for ever. (apologies to husbands and partners here – I hope you understand what I mean)
- Make sure they have nice clothes to wear – especially on the day the photographer is at school. Those photos will be around a while to remind you if you forget!
- Accept that sometimes you won’t be able to figure out what is going on in their heads (let’s make that most of the time)
- If you move house, remember to tell them.
- Don’t forget your child is asleep in your friend’s bedroom. They will always remind you of the time you went home without them – oops!
- Maintain contact with the extended families of both parents. Even though they may be a long way away, today it is so easy to keep in touch via Facebook and emails etc. Do this even if there is a split up in the family. They are still your kids’ uncles, aunties and cousins.
- Try to teach them resilience – it is hard to do if you don’t feel that way yourself. Maybe learn it first and then teach them – it is a really important characteristic for a successful life.
- Encourage them to love nature. This is a precious gift and to be greatly valued throughout life.
- Accept that they carry your genes and there is nothing you can do about it – sometimes it can be something to celebrate!
- Encourage them to have diverse friends from different cultures as they can learn a lot from others’ differences.
- Encourage them to have some interest in politics and to believe that they are not powerless to the system and CAN make a difference.
- Teach them to be nice to each other. I used to say ” a lot of people in the world who may be unkind to your brother, it is your job to be kind to him” – something along those lines.
- Remember they are more likely to copy what you do and not what you say.
- Encourage a sense of adventure and curiosity.
- And then…make sure they always know you love them unconditionally.
Until next time