Somehow, putting “Happy” in front of any particular day, builds up huge expectations of pure, unadulterated happiness and yet, the reality is that these so-called “Happy Days” often end up in the worst fights on record, unmet expectations and tears. The flowers end up in the bin and someone helped themselves to the chocolates…Take 2!
Happy Days can be problematic enough when everything is going swimmingly well. However, if that Happy Day is somehow fused onto incredible grief, loss or not so happy relationships, it’s like jabbing your heart with a blunt knife and pouring metho on the wound. Ouch! We’ve all had metho on a grazed knee and writhed in absolute agony. It’s unbearable on an open, emotional wound.
Yet, quite often we’re pleasantly surprised when we do actually have a Happy Day! Instead of our insurmountable expectations being dashed, they’re actually exceeded and we’re all Happy Happy Joy Joy!!!
Today, it’s Mother’s Day in Australia. So, I wish all Mums a Happy Mother’s Day and hoped you had a few smiles. For those of you who have either lost children or lost mothers and find today very difficult, my thoughts and prayers are with you and I send you my love and a hug. Being surrounded by blissfully happy people and all the advertising hoopla that goes along with “Happy Days”, can be incredibly difficult and isolating.
When I picture the Mother’s Day script, it goes something like this:
1) You get to sleep in until about midday. Well, at least until 10.00AM.
2) Breakfast in bed served with flowers hand-picked by the kids from the garden.
3) Hand-made cards made by the kids and presents bought from the Mother’s Day Stall at school.
4) There definitely has to be chocolate!!
However, unlike the movies or Happy Days, real life has a mind of it’s own going off script, off-road and absolutely doing its own thing!!
Mother’s Day for us was a bit messy this year after a hectic week.
My parents sold their house at Palm Beach during the week, which has meant bringing a lot of furniture and “stuff” back here and we’re in the midst of a monumental clean-up and reorganization and heading towards further renovation as well.This doesn’t bode well for organising ANYTHING!!
Secondly, Geoff and I were at my cousin’s wedding in the Hunter Valley yesterday and the kids ended up at a sleepover so they weren’t here to make me breakfast in bed. After getting home about 1.00AM, it took a crane to get me out of bed and off to Church where they were having a special Mother’s Day Service including items by the kids. There was absolutely no way I could miss this. There are bad mothers and bad mothers and for not turning up, I would have been damned for all eternity!!
So, with none of us being even remotely prepared, it was pancakes for lunch made from scratch by the kids…with some help from Geoff.
Pancakes are a serious tradition in our place going back to childhood visits to my best friend’s house as a kid where we poured the sugar all over the pancake like snow and then drowned it in lemon juice. This was before either Maple Syrup or Nutella really became commonplace in Australia and you either had lemon and sugar or jam.
While I have been teaching the kids to cook most of their lives, I’m still pretty much at the centre of things to direct little hands and control traffic. This takes incredible vigilance because kids (not just my kids) get ahead of themselves and the recipe and tend to half measure ingredients, throw them in the bowl out of sequence and turn the mixer on too high splattering the ceiling. Oh…and I forgot to mention dropping a whole raw egg on the floor resulting in a gloopy, shattered mess (the same often happens to your heart on these so-called “Happy Days” as well!!)
I have actually been quite surprised by the amount of assumed knowledge contained in most recipes. When I first beefed up the cooking lessons while I was having chemo, I had no idea that using a grater would be difficult until they’d unfortunately grated their little fingers. As they sliced across the butter, the knife moved diagonally, not a straight line, totally messing up the measurements. My daughter threw cold water on the yeast and on another pizza dough making mission, the yeast all but blew away because the balcony doors had been left open. Don’t you just love a sea breeze?!!
However, once I’ve explained, deciphered and re-written my hand-written pancake recipe, the kids and Geoff did a fabulous job. Using a heart-shaped mold, they made me some love-heart pancakes, which I sandwiched together with Nutella to make a tasty “Pancake Burger”…yum!
I felt very spoiled…and loved!!
BY the way, I just had to share this little anecdote from my childhood. Being quite the justice crusader, I noticed that there was a Mother’s Day, a Father’s Day but (with the exception of the Royal Easter Show) no Children’s Day. Of course, I thought this was incredibly unfair…a serious injustice. So, preparing to go into battle, I asked my Mum why there wasn’t a children’s day. She was not very impressed I can tell you and replied: “Every day is children’s day!!!”
At the time, I was dumbfounded, perplexed and also a bit annoyed. She had no idea!! Of course, from a kid’s perspective, parents were always telling us what to do. They were the ones quite literally in the driver’s seat and from our point of view, all we ever heard was: “No! No! No! No! No! That certainly didn’t equate with Children’s Day. No, not at all!
Now, that I’m a parent myself, I understand this so much better and have a greater appreciation of the sacrifices our parents make for us. That it’s there job not only to give us what we ask for but what we need and ideally, they’re sense of perspective will carry us forward towards the future so we grow up and don’t just get older. We are prepared and enabled to stand on our own two feet and in turn, bring up our own children or indeed, give children a fresh start.
Anyway, I hope your Mother’s Day went well and to my own mother I say a huge “Thank you” and I also say the same to my kids. After all, it’s not just a case of me bringing them up but they are also educating and nurturing me.
Love & blessings!