My Mum And The Stuff She Teaches Me
It’s a few days after Mothers Day, mum and I haven’t been able to be together because of the lockdown.
We tried to execute a video call, but mum couldn’t find how to make her sound turn on her computer and I, already frazzled, didn’t have the patience today to work it out. I did try many things, honestly I did.
Instead, we chatted for a while, but because we are both isolated and bored it was hard to find anything much to talk about. This saddens me, because normally we can gas for ages.
What else I wondered would these strange times bring? What is wrong with me that I lost my sense of humour and just couldn’t find the patience to find the solution?
It makes me sad that I had let someone upset me on Sunday and the one person who has had endless patience with me, didn’t get that back.
However, getting this sorted when I see her will be a priority so that in future there can be no hold ups when we want to video call.
I sat reflecting on some of the things that mum has taught me, Readers of this blog back in 2016 will remember that I regaled you with tales of puberty, periods and menopause. These were, and still are some of my greatest mum lessons.
When I talk with mum later today, we shall have plenty to talk about because we shall reminisce.
So as I sit here, I’d like to share some of my musings.
I will always be her little girl
No matter how old I get, I will always be my mum’s little girl and there have been occasions when I have so needed her cuddles.
There was one evening when I was staying with her and I lay in bed tossing and turning over some stuff that was running around my head. By 2 am I couldn’t stand it any longer. I have no idea how she knew, but she was in my bedroom and arms around me while I sobbed in seconds.
She knows just what her little girl needs
As a young girl, my bedroom walls were adorned with posters, my favourite was the one with all of the words to Free’s Wishing Well. The chest of drawers next to said Free poster was where mum placed my special package. If you are of a similar age to me, you will no doubt remember packets of pads and delightful pink (in my case) belts to hold said pads in place.
Mum provided me with instructions on what to do when the blood arrived. What blood I wondered? It’s all very well to have a well-intentioned mum, but to my young mind, there was a disconnect between her words, the package and my body. To be honest, I had no clue about what she was on about. Until that day.
When that day arrived, as luck would have it I soon learned what that ‘stuff’ was for. Letting myself into the flat, I as usual padded off to the toilet where I was horrified that the blood that mum had previously described was here. I very carefully cleaned myself up and headed to unwrap my package.
Unwrapping and examining the contents again, I proceeded as instructed to place the unattractive belt around my waist and hook the pad on as she had described. Within no time doubts filled my mind.
What if, I speculated, this wasn’t one of them period things, what if, I contemplated I was mistaken and it wasn’t blood it was something else, what I wondered might this really be? The doubts circled like ravenous vultures to the point I removed all of my accoutrements and placed them very carefully back in the drawer and waited for mum to confirm that it was ok to wear my lovely new things.
Fast forward over 45 years and my mum just knows how to make sure I have the things I need. When I come to stay despite her knackered back she bakes me biscuits and cakes. Yum! Thank you, mum.
My Mum and her endless patience
Oh god, I will never forget my mum trying to teach me how to use tampons. This was my second lesson on becoming a woman. What possessed her to use this day for this tortuous experiment will forever elude me. From the comfort of her bed, she opened up the box of white sticks and suggested that I try one. Much more practical she advised. It seemed like a good idea.
I returned to her bed eight times for a practice sit down, only to discover that I hadn’t got it in quite right, and painfully staggered back to the toilet to try again. On my final attempt, it got stuck and mum, by now in fits of hysterical laughter, tried to get me to relax so that she could get it out.
Can you imagine that? Having your mum fish one of them out. Such trust.
I feared it would stay there forever. If you have ever heard or seen my mum laugh, you will know that once it starts, it takes some time to stop. More humiliation, I couldn’t join the grown up girls club just yet. It wasn’t until I lost my virginity that I realised that they would fit!
She always has endless patience, while I… well I don’t. Don’t even ask about the time I chopped up a catsuit I was making because I ran out of patience. She on the other hand would have sorted it with her endless capacity to want to sort things out.
I’m confess that I have learned to be a finisher, because of my mum.
Get to know your body
Another of Mum’s lessons was for me to examine my vagina, inside and out. She said if you don’t know what it feels like how can you tell if something isn’t quite right? I was packed off to the bathroom with a mirror and my instructions.
Seeing my vagina at close quarters was a shock. It was ugly, pink, chubby and wet. Despite the peculiar creature staring at me with disdain, I duly did as instructed. Finger in, soft and smooth, finger out and up to my nose, no smell. So that was the examination over, I was normal or at least I confirmed to myself that my vagina was normal.
This has never left me. No, I do not examine my vagina endlessly, more that I am incredibly in tune with my body and have been able to heal all kinds, just because I know my body.
It’s never too late to learn something new
My mum has always been an artist. I have always written. One Christmas or birthday I gifted mum a journal, pen and a book on how to write a novel and she has not stopped.
Now that her spine hurts so much, painting is harder so she writes. She has written several novels using her amazing imagination. One children’s book and another in the works.
At no time did she say I can’t do this, she just sat down and wrote. Me on the other hand has always been freaked about writing fiction.
What she shows me if it is possible in the world at any age, it is possible for me. I’m slowly losing my fear and have made 2021 the year of the novel.
My greatest cheerleader is championing me all the way.
Have a strong work ethic
By now, you will have guessed that my mum is a super human…
Now this one amazes me. She never gives up and what she starts she finishes. She is currently writing what has the working title of the Tree house and while she just wants it finished and is bored of it, she will get it done.
Me on the other hand would have put it away and found something more exciting.
Yet, these days when I feel like doing that I think of mum and she inspires me.
Of course, my mum isn’t a superhuman
I just happen to think my mum is super special, but there are some things that drive me insane – they do mum – if you are reading this….
It’s not much but it’s her worrying. She catasrophises like a demon. But we do laugh about it.
However, I do thank her for this. Because she worries about the oddest things I do stuff so that she doesn’t worry.
All in all, I am so blessed to have my mum as my mum and as my friend. I like that I can be her friend and still remain her little girl. Everyone needs their mum.
Thank you for being my mum.