Mothering Sunday

I wrote on International Woman’s Day what my Mum means to me, so I will not embarrass her again so soon, instead I will ponder what being a mother means to me. You know that I am Mum to 18 year old Joshua, but you may not know that I also had three miscarriages after Joshua, so it was not that we wanted him to be an only child, it was simply not to be. I adore being Joshua’s Mum, it is an absolute privilege. I wear several hats : Daughter, sister, wife, Governor, Director, friend, but none of those other roles occupy my mind every hour in quite the same way.

I am on red alert 24/7 as a Mother, listening for noises when he is in bed and watching him closely for signs of an approaching seizure. He needs me to dress him, change him , feed and bath him, but lately he also requires attention most of the day, as he is less happy to entertain himself than he once was. I fight on a daily basis so that he gets what he needs and deserves, so I am his advocate and his voice, as well as his Mum : I have had to push for  continence products, for orthotics, for respite and even to go to tribunal for the right school. That can make me a stroppy mum, one who is ready for the battle at a moment’s notice.

Joshua and I are inextricably linked, so when he is ill or not eating, then I am absorbed by that and cannot settle until he is back to normal. If someone is rude or mean to Joshua, then I take it personally as I am his defender and it will bring out a primeval strength in me.  If he does something inappropriate while out and about, like lifting a lady’s coat up as he did yesterday while out shopping or flicking a stranger’s ponytail, I leap to his defence and loudly say ” Oh no Joshua , not everybody likes that” with a smile, hoping that they will realise what is going on and will smile back , with understanding. Nine times out of ten he gets that response, luckily.

I am a very proud Mum so I celebrate his successes, no matter how small they might seem, and I share them with friends and family. We have photographs of Joshua, at all ages, all over the house and I share my favourites on social media too. He is very handsome and has twinkling eyes and a great smile that is tricky to always catch in a photograph.

I am often told that Joshua is lucky to have me as his mum to fight his corner, which is very flattering, but actually, it is the other way around : I am very lucky to have him as my son. Happy Mother’s day!

Happy Pancake Day everyone

Today is Shrove Tuesday! Traditionally a day when we enjoy pancakes for tea, which I love, but also they are a treat because my husband always makes and tosses pancakes for us and so it is one of the rare occasions when I hand over the reins in the kitchen! In the past, Joshua has occasionally joined in , although he is usually highly suspicious when his Dad is cooking. It often means that mum is away and so it represents a break in routine. As a one off, Joshua tends to reject his father’s cooking, even if he is warming up something that I have made and left behind. However, when I was away for a more prolonged period at the end of 2014 when my father was in hospital, Joshua adjusted to being in Daddy’s care – although I believe that Yorkshire Grandma often came to the rescue at mealtimes – and they became much closer as a result.

As a child we always had ‘scotch pancakes’ with jam, which I adore, and we  were able to eat a seemingly endless amount.However, then we progressed onto more sophisticated crepe-like pancakes with lemon and I always think, why do we not have these through the year, they are too good to save for one Tuesday every year! Usually our 6 hens are laying  2-3 eggs per day again, so they should be even tastier with fresh eggs.

Generally Shrove Tuesday marks the start of Lent and the countdown to Easter. Easter is another sweet feast, so after the indulgence of pancakes, I turn my attention to what I could give up for Lent. Lately I have used it as part of an attempt to eat more healthily, by going without chocolate or biscuits. And so I am still pondering what I should be stocking up on today, ready for 40 days of abstinence.

I am delighted that Shrove Tuesday is just one key day between today and Easter and there are others to celebrate in our family : Joshua will be 15 on 5 March and it is a doubly important day as he shared his birthday with my late-father. Now we have planned a family birthday party at Mum’s house already, as it was always a date we shared together as a family, with many joint birthday parties. Even though Joshua is oblivious to presents in the main,  he has always enjoyed our parties when the family gets together, with cake and balloons, with him as the main focus. It will be a neat weekend as the day after will be Mother’s Day, so by staying overnight, we will be on the spot for sharing mothering Sunday with both Grandmothers. This is also an important day when we thank our mothers for all that they have done for us over the years and we make them feel special. My best ever Mothers Day gift was a poem that my husband wrote for me, days after Joshua was born, it is very precious. And it is certainly true in my case that, only when you become a mother yourself, do you truly appreciate all that your own did for you.