There are so many facets to Mother’s Day it’s really hard to choose something to write about. The internet provides endless ‘lists’ to inspire – top ten mothers in literature, top five luxury gifts to buy, top twenty places to take your mum out and so on and so on. So I decided to make it personal and write about my top 3 mum moments from when I was a child that make me grateful that she indulged my crazy madness many, many times.
- The day before the Leavers primary school disco in 1981 I had informed all my friends that I would be wearing a new Tammy Girl mini-skirt to the disco. The only problem was, I didn’t possess said mini-skirt only a whole load of ‘Little House on the Prairie’ type Laura Ashley dresses which at the beginning of the 1980s just weren’t going to cut it – I was Kim Wilde not Laura Ingals! So I was going to have to persuade my mum, who had been at work all day, to drive me to the shops after school to buy me the mini-skirt. I was 99% sure the answer was going to be no but to my amazement she not only said she would go to the shops but she would buy me the Tammy Girl skirt too. I could not believe my luck and can still remember sitting in the back of our red Renault 5 looking out the window thinking, wow she’s not that bad after all. I wore the mini skirt to the disco with my grey school jumper, which kind of ruined the whole ‘look’ but I did get a kiss from Anthony McCormack (where are you now? Do you still have your Chopper bike?) which was the whole point so job done!
- It was my choice, but I went to boarding school when I was 14. What I hadn’t realised was that the weekend at school was a quiet, sad and desperate place to be and I was going to have to use all my ninja skills to get out on a Friday to go home. This involved much subterfuge on my part (something that seems to feature quite a lot in my childhood). At the beginning of the term I would have my ‘light’ excuses – ‘oh everyone is going home because it’s the beginning of the term (that makes no sense?!)’. In the middle of the term it would be ‘everyone is coming out this weekend as the housemaster has had a heart attack (not true) and then when I got more desperate for excuses at the end of the term I would rely on the big guns – my many phantom illnesses to see me through. The worst of which was a recurring kidney infection that meant I couldn’t even get the bus home – I had to be be collected! To this day we still call it ‘Green Line Bus Kidney Syndrome’ when you are pathetically unable to do something. But sure enough, every weekend she listened to those mad, unbelievable excuses and somehow I always ended up home for the weekend.
- I had just passed my driving test and was driving her brand new car – a car that she had just bought with her own money from her new job. I was driving along a country lane fiddling with the radio and in a flash, I found myself in the middle of a green bean field. I had driven off the road whilst trying to tune in the latest Rick Astley single, flown over the ditch and ended up in the field. Fuck, fuck, fuck how on earth was I going to get out of this? No mobiles in those days either and the field was about ten inches in mud. I left the field and luckily walked to a nearby phone box and at the same time, the farmer drove past in his tractor. He dragged the car out and I can’t remember how but myself and the car ended up at the local garage where my mum met me. Her first thought was to check I was ok when I had prepared myself for a total, extreme loop out about her beloved car. Her second thought was that she was utterly horrified that I had no shoes on as I’d left them in the ten inches of mud in the field. She exclaimed ‘but I just bought you those shoes! Get in the car – we are going to find them’. And sure enough we drove back to the field and found the purple suede flats, if a little muddy.
There are also the many afternoons she sat and watched Blue Peter with me and endured me insisting on making the Sindy House or whatever culinary creations they created which were well beyond any 9 year old. The multiple late nights she picked me and my sister up rolling drunk in the gutter then vomiting on her prize roses in the front garden as we fell out onto the driveway. She put up with our really loud music and our huge rows about what temperature knickers should be washed on. And when my own children do something crazy, I do sometimes think ‘how would she have reacted?’
But mainly she has indulged me by never being critical of my mothering skills for which I am very grateful. The last thing mothers need is criticism when we are all just trying to do the best we can.
What was the craziest thing your mum indulged you in? M
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