According to all the advertising, all I wanted for Mother's Day today was a vacuum cleaner or a coffee maker. Wrong. According to all the schmaltzy editorials, all I wanted was a massage or a reason to shop! Exclamation mark!
Indeed, one story I found spoke about how grateful a new mother was, when on Mother's Day, her husband managed to change all the baby's nappies.
"He was breastfeeding and pooing a million times per day so it was great!" Who - the baby or her husband?
I don't want things, no jewellery or massages. I don't want a clean house nor love and appreciation. I expect us all to work hard on those things every day of the year.
Here's a few things I wouldn't mind happening today.
I'd like you both to climb in bed with me still half asleep. Like you did when you were babies. Let's go back to sleep, or tell stories, or just look into each other's eyes across the pillow while I soak up the wonder that I managed to produce you. Let's see if I can still lift you up on my feet, like an aeroplane, remember that little trick that would have you both laughing with glee. If you want to bring a cup of tea with you, all the better.
Let's lounge about on the lounge and read. To each other, to ourselves. I miss story time. I miss Where is the Green Sheep? And We're Going on a Bear Hunt. Swish, swish, swish. Let's try and find Wally or marvel in the feats featured in the Guinness Book of Records. Put your head in my lap, or rest your feet there, limbs entwined as we're entwined in the pages of a book.
Let's head outside. For a walk in the fresh air. Somewhere we haven't been or somewhere familiar. There's nothing better than noticing how your neighbourhood has changed over the years as you've grown. Let's find a pile of leaves to jump in, puddles to splash in, trees to hug. Let's not worry about how fast we walk, how far we've gone. Walking is good for talking, for letting go of worries, for just getting out.
Let's cook something together. Bake a cake. Some biscuits. Plan an extravagant meal. Nothing makes me happier than feeding you two. When you say you like a dinner. Or appreciate a home-baked muffin in your lunchbox. Let's experiment and try something new. Let's eat our comforting favourites that we've had on the menu for years. Let's eat dinner without our phones, without arguing, actually having a conversation. What was the best part of your day?
Make me a card. OK, maybe this is a thing, but make me one, not buy me some glittery Hallmark thing. Those kind you used to make with crayons and glue. With drawings and little sentences that only a mother could interpret. "Mum, you're the beast" is still my favourite message. Even though you meant the best. I am both, still.
Let's listen to some music. You both have your songs I used to sing to you. Morningtown Ride, Edelweiss, the songs I played when you were babies, from U2's Beautiful Day to Come What May out of Moulin Rouge. Songs we like now. I love it that you've discovered Bruce Springsteen and Bronski Beat and you've opened my ears to Post Malone and J-Kwo. Let's have a dance-off. Let's not be embarrassed. We all know I'm the best dancer.
Do you see what I'm doing here? Let's just be together for a bit. It doesn't matter what we're doing. Let's do nothing. I don't want to read one more story about how mums just don't want to "mother" on Mother's Day. How they want time out, away from all the little people who made them mothers. I want the opposite. At the moment, I want to soak up every moment I have with you both. I know I will always be your mother, but I'm worried my days of mothering are coming to an end.
The one thing I want to do today is make memories.