I want to fill in that blank with all sorts of fabulous designations. I want to say what other people say : My mother is my best friend. We have so much in common. We have a great time together. She is always there for me.
But I can’t.
Despite my best efforts my mother remains staunch and judgemental. There is a wall between us that is too high for me to climb over. She does not like, does not approve of my husband. She does not like my life choices. She couldn’t disapprove of me less if I was a serial killer or a porn star. She will not change her position. It has caused me an immeasurable amount of grief. It has caused me to think that maybe I am a bit of a shitty person. For surely if I was a nice person, a worthwhile person, she wouldn’t treat me this way…..
But the truth is people will do what they do and think what they think and oftentimes it is nothing at all to do with us.
I know a lot of people who find Mother’s Day hard to cope with. I know a lot of people for whom the day is filled with sadness. I just want to take all those people today and give them the biggest hug they have ever had and make them a cake. With plenty of icing and sprinkles on the top.
In the park yesterday evening I saw this sunset. The colours filled me with a sense of wonder. The water seemed to be full of light and stars. The boat bobbed gently, cradled by the lapping waves.
That sunset sustained me because I knew that today I would ring my mother and she would barely bring herself to talk to me and I would feel like I felt when I was a child believing I would never be good enough.
And I knew I would spend much of the day gloomy and downcast, unable to understand why any Mum would let something minor come between them and their child. And I knew I would think about it all day and still find the subject unfathomable.
That sunset was a gift to me because I did not remain as downcast as I thought. Right now my husband and son are making spring rolls with special sauce in the kitchen. Their presence and the sunset and boats on the twilit water make me sorry for a woman who shuts someone out for reasons she herself may no longer be aware of.
There is nothing I can do about, that but what I can do is make sure my relationship with my own child never experiences that kind of strain. Never ever. Oh, my darling, crazy, kind-hearted, hilarious boy – I cannot ever imagine putting a wall up between me and you.
The sunset stays in my head. A golden and amber spell. A warm rug thrown out from the heavens – for anyone to catch. And I know all will be well because I will always be me in spite of it all. My ability to see the sunsets will not diminish.
And as the day falls into silhouette I smile.
And give thanks.