This is my Mama. For those of you who had read my bookywook (Thanks Russell Brand), you’ll know all about Grace Miller’s Mama and her quirks. My Mum, delightful as she is, is pretty much the antithesis of all that. My Dad sometimes refers to as “a rock of Gibraltar” (real romantic, Dad), whereas Grace’s Mama is more like a pretty pebble skipping across water. But, contrary to her usual rootedness, Mum has been the nomadic one the last six weeks. She’s been traipsing across Europe, soaking up the summer, leaving us bereft of her consistency and rock-y-ness. We have missed her.
But now she is back! Woot woot! Husband and baby girl number one have just left to pick her up from the airport while me and baby girl number two are sitting about in eager anticipation trying not to mess the house up… (as if on cue baby girl number two poos through her adorable outfit I just picked out. Nice. Off to change…)
It’s good for your Mama to go away every now and then. It reminds you of all the things that make her exactly who she is and remind you how nice it is to have her around. It’s easy to take a Mama for granted, I think, they’re generally just so reliable in their affection and presence. Unless you are Grace, perhaps.
So what is she like, my Mama, if she is nothing like Grace’s Mama? Well, she is quiet for a start. It’s sometimes referred to as her most salient feature. I think it’s a reaction to my Dad’s, ahem, shall we say, loudness. I’ve had people comment to me “Your Mum is lovely! But I couldn’t hear a word she said.” That’s Mum, she charms even whilst being incomprehensible! Mum is lovely, it is true. She is loving and kind and loves life. But if I had only three words to explain my Mama I would choose JOY, BUSY and TOGETHER.
Joy is probably self explanatory. Mum is the type of person that would love a cream pie fight, or a midnight feast or slipping down a grass slope on a flattened cardboard box. She’s very much an adult, don’t get me wrong (she does dishes and pays taxes and puts matching tops and bottoms together, as proof) but in her heart she is a kid who wants to run along the beach with her shoes off. She reminds me of my baby girl number one. Bless her. (Bless them both.)
Busy is for how she has to be. All. The. Time. Her parents slogged their guts out until collapsing, happily, into slumbers on couches at early hours in the evening. They were workers and sleepers – if you’re not doing one then you better be doing the other – kind of thing. Mum got both of those genes in spades. She folds laundry whilst watching telly, she does the dishes whilst preparing a cake, she juggles three balls and then adds in a silver sword, a glass caraffe and a small circus bear. Busy is good. Busy is useful. And if you take the busy away from her? She goes straight to sleep. It’s pretty cute to watch. Working, working, working….snore.
Finally, together. If Mum had her way we’d all be eating ploughman’s lunches and drinking lemonade and working in the outdoors every day. This is what she calls “The Working Bee”. Mum loves a working bee so much I am surprised she hasn’t turned yellow and black and stripey. Busy? Together? Oooh, yes please! Mum loves to have people over and people around and people all together. She’s not an extrovert really, hates to be centre of attention, more of a dyed-in-the-wool hostess. She likes community. She likes company. She likes us all rowing in the same direction. She likes us all sitting around shelling beans and assembling sandwiches.
For her homecoming we have gotten all excited and hung up a banner and some balloons. They don’t match and Mum will love that. She likes things nice and clean and orderly and then…just a little skewiff. We have plenty of cheese in the fridge. She likes that. Cheese and dates and mushrooms and goody gum drops ice-cream. Not together. We took the car and Wren through a car wash. Mum does love a car wash (strange but true). And this evening we will cook and she will tell us all about her trip and show us photos. She’ll recount stories in a happy, hushed voice we cannot hear but with a joyfulness we can understand. She’ll get busy doing her laundry, or our dishes, or something. Then fall asleep.
Aw. We’ve missed you Mama. Did I mention that? See you very soon… x