Today is always bittersweet.
My older son has sided firmly with my mother, she’s a better financial bet, I suppose, and despite his non materialistic upbringing, he’s always saved his first shilling. I suppose being brought up in poverty will do that to a child. If you don’t know if your mum will be able to afford shoes or even food, then money takes on a specific meaning. So, I tend to get a perfunctory HMD! on Facebook, while she has the flowers and cards and fuss made. It’s actually fine. I get it, I really do.
My younger son has ASD, so it’s always a bit touch and go as to whether he’ll remember, despite my husband reminding him and giving him the money. And taking him to the shop. And offering to order flowers. He forgot. And that’s fine too. When you’re whole life is taken up with trying to pretend to come from the same planet as humans, then fripperies like cards are probably not high on your list of priorities. I did get a hug. For those of you in the know, hugs from people like my boy are rare, like gold dust, like fine wine. Something to be savoured and treasured.
My husband doesn’t do cards, but he and his brothers made a fuss of my mother in law, because his dad died last summer. So I have no cards, no bunches of flowers, and that’s fine. Not sour grapes fine, actually fine. I know all year round that I’m loved now and that’s worth more than any Hallmark moments.
My mother is an abusive alcoholic. There, I said it. Best to get it out there fast, or we all forget to mention it in the need to cover up for her behaviour. In the desire my brother and I have to seem like we come from a normal family. My brother and his wife and daughters spent today with my mother. I know that he will have been carefully monitoring how many glasses of wine she’d had, I know he’ll make sure that he gets away before she’s had her 5th one, because that’s when it all starts.I know he’ll have had to listen to her telling him what an ungrateful evil bitch I am because I couldn’t find a card that I could send with any level of sincerity. Somehow, despite her telling everyone that I am a liar, I can’t lie and send her a “World’s Greatest Mother” or “Thank you for always being there for me” sentiment, it would be a farce. I can’t tell a woman who nearly destroyed me that I love her.
And yet. And yet, here I am happy. I know that I have good friends. I know that I am loved and cared for. And the part of me that cries and wishes for her to tell me she’s sorry gets smaller every day.
This is dedicated to all the women I love, whether they are mothers or not, today, I’d like you to take a bow, in many ways, you have mothered me more completely than my biological one did. You have encouraged me to know that I have value. I hope you see the value in yourselves.