Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Let's Talk About Mums

My Mum was the definite Mum.

Each Mothers' Day I would feel smug sending her a card that told her she was the Best Mum in The World. Because she was. I know everyone thinks this of their mother but you are all wrong.

Dulcie was the Best Mum ever in the Whole History of the Universe.


Too many to list - I would have to write a book......

Dulcie adopted me. When I was teased at school (as inevitably I was) she told me to tell the bullies that my Mum had chosen me, theirs were stuck with them. It may not have stopped the bullying but it made me feel so special.

Dulcie was my hero and my role model.

When I became a mum she was my example of how I should be. I don't mean she was perfect - she certainly wasn't. But she instilled in me all the good things that I taught my children. And also showed me the mistakes to avoid.

She taught me manners - they cost nothing.

She taught me to respect my elders (although I now believe respect should be earned).

She taught me how to be a nice person. And I believe I am. Not on her scale, obviously - she didn't have a bad bone in her body.

She taught me humour - how to laugh at life and not take myself too seriously. She definitely succeeded there!

She taught me how to love. Although, strangely enough, I never once heard her say the words. I just knew she did love me.

This taught me to tell my children they were loved. Every day.

She taught me humility. No one is better than me - they may have more money/power/whatever, but it does NOT make them a better person.

By the same token I am no better than anyone else. We are all equal under the skin.

She taught me about Xmas. This stayed with her all her life. She loved it. Which is the main reason why I don't anymore.

Slight deviation here....we did our Xmas shopping this morning. We spent less than £10. That was it. What on? Nice food for a Xmas Day picnic.....

Each year we try to do something different. Something that sets us apart from all the stress/hassle/overspending.

Last year we felt obliged to visit Steve's parents after them nagging us for years. They also love Xmas.

2009 we had just moved into a new home (just as in 2 days before) and had beans on toast for lunch.

2008 we were living in Egypt. We went to Banana Island (Google it - Banana Island, Luxor) and ate burgers for dinner.

This is an example of how we behave!

Today we have picked the spot for Xmas 2011

This is Lepe Beach which is around 25 miles away from us. Very quiet and un-commercialised and almost guaranteed to be deserted on 25th December. We will eat a posh picnic whilst watching the beautiful winter sea crashing to the shore. Perfect!

Anyway, back to Mum......

I have called her The Original Xmas Fairy before. She loved the whole concept of it.

As a child I would wake to a HUGE sack of presents, and the traditional stocking complete with fruits and nuts in the toe. She told me this was all she would get as a child - fruit and nuts - if they were lucky. She had 9 brothers and sisters and a single parent mother - her husband was a victim of the first World War. This was a tradition I happily carried on with my children.

I can remember one year  (I was about 10?), I rather cheekily asked for a pair of tights to hang thinking I would get twice as many presents. True to form I was given a pair of tights to hang, but each leg was only half-filled. Another valuable life lesson learned.

Even as an adult I would receive far more than my fair share of gifts. And my children - I was embarrassed at the piles of presents they received. But she loved it, and I loved her for it.

I would always cook the lunch. Traditional Xmas dinner with all the trimmings, but I would always add a little twist of my own. One year it was an Ice Cream Xmas Pudding which I made by mixing traditional pudding fruits with ice cream. Yum.

Once she died it was like the Spirit of Xmas had gone. There seemed no point to it without her. She was the Reason for the Season.

So we don't do it anymore.

But I will take a few seconds out on the day, as always, to wish her a Very Happy Day. And I know that, wherever she is, it will certainly be that!

Happy Xmas Mum.

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