So another Mothers Day has been and gone, my 12th as a mum and my 18th as a motherless daughter. I usually write a wee something for my mum each year such as here and here. Memories will be forgotten if they're not dusted off every now and again and remembered.
I think about what my boys will remember about me. Sometimes I shudder a little when I realise I've been too stuffy and unfunny, and too focused on getting stuff done. I'm always so frustratingly focused on getting stuff done rather than just being. I think this is an inherited thing. I worry for myself that the cycle is repeating. I certainly don't have memories of my mum being fun, and silly and giggly. I don't have memories of my mum being random, of letting things go, of being carefree. And this isn't meant as a criticism of my mum.
It's a cautionary tale for me.
I'm not there, but I could be if I don't watch myself, or maybe that's stop watching myself and just be. My eldest did one of those beautiful cards at school where they thank you for things you've done as a mum. You know the kind that sometimes says "thank you for always making sure I get my homework done", or "thank you for keeping my room tidy". My son's card wasn't like this, it was beautiful and made me cry in the mothers day mass I went to with him at school. But it could have. And in my eyes that would have been an epic fail.
I need to remember to keep young and playful for my boys, to do silly, to do random, to parent responsibly and irresponsibly.
I need to remember to do this for them. But more importantly I need to remember to do this for me.
And so another mothers day, and another year to remember what it means to be a mum, and to have had a mum. Last year, almost on this date, a dear friend built a cairn for my Mum in her memory at Mount Everest Base Camp, later that year, I built one for her on a stunning beach in Goa in Southern India. On Saturday, my husband will be in Angkor Watt in Cambodia, he's going to build a cairn for her there. This is how I like to remember my mum, for her uncannily wide general knowledge (my sister has inherited that bit), and even though she didn't have adventures, she would have appreciated the fact she can be remembered in these countries, even if it is a pile of stones, built from love.
I don't want my boys to remember me with rocks.
I want them to remember me for the adventures I had with them, and not the ones I didn't.
Are you creating the right memories?