The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

For my Mum and yours

on March 30, 2014

The world is actually a very confusing place you know. I would never have thought as such if I hadn’t moved out to Singapore where it’s never cold in winter and a boat was built on top of not one but three skyscrapers. Maybe the architect’s name is Noah.

You don’t have to be elderly to be set in your ways. I find it quite disorientating to discover things aren’t done the same way at the same time as in the UK.

Mother’s Day is one such occasion. Or Mothering Sunday as it should correctly be known in the UK. Traditionally a Christian holiday celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent as a day off for people to attend their Mother Church with family. It evolved to become a celebration of honouring our Mothers in the same way that Mother’s Day is celebrated in all other countries without the religious overtures. I guess that’s why Mother’s Day falls on a different date to many other countries.

Husband and I have agreed to celebrate the UK date for practical reasons that it’s not going to be heaving everywhere if we want to go out for lunch say. (In the same vein, we ought to celebrate Mother’s Day on the Singapore date when we return back to the UK.) It’s also I guess, a way to say that we haven’t left you completely England by keeping a few constants going.

A friend with a child same age as #1 once gave her views on what Mother’s Day means to her. She said that she didn’t want any recognition from her husband to mark the day and only until the children understood the significance of it being a special day for Mum would it mean something to her.

I think this will be her year.

#1, 2 and 3 came marching into my bedroom brandishing their cards and pictures. #1 handed his over, all written out by himself. #2 waved hers in my face and then proceeded to open it herself. #3 refused to hand hers over and chewed on it instead.

#1 then asked me would I like pancakes for breakfast, which is actually his most favourite meal in the world. Husband prepared said pancakes and then #1 asked me if I wanted to eat them in bed. What do you think #1? I think you should, said he, because it’s your special day Mummy. He carefully carried a plate over to me with cutlery and went on his way to demolish his own five pancakes. (It would have been six Mummy but Daddy said No.) #2 taking advantage of a novelty mealtime location also insisted on breakfast in bed.

As a family, we are trying to mark special occasions with special occasion outings and not for things to be all about presents. So we went out for Afternoon High Tea at the Shangri-la Hotel, a treat for all the family. Perhaps not quite the relaxing Mother’s Day afternoon it would otherwise have been without small children in tow. #3 evidently got confused with it being a Greek wedding with her attempts to smash a few china plates.

At some point I might want to go off somewhere alone for a proper relaxing time but at the moment the children aren’t quite ready to accept that it’s a treat to be away from them.

Indeed, I’d like nothing more than to spend Mother’s Day with my own Mum. Go out for lunch together with all our family. Make it her special day with cards and flowers and another pair of slippers and six pack of pop socks. I would like to see her smile over the fuss being made of her and quite rightly so.

I remember being a small child and proudly presenting cards made at school to my Mum. Then entered the great revelation of actually being able to buy my Mum something when I started a weekend job. Much thought was put into the very simple idea of what does my Mum like? Not a lot actually. Hence the constant supply of slippers and pop socks. But I do remember thinking that my gift was THE best idea ever and feeling ever so proud of myself. Of being able to show a modicum of appreciation for my Mum being just that. To say to her, I’m trying to do something for you for a change.

Whilst living this expat life, I miss my Mum all the time. Especially with becoming a parent myself. I wonder what advice she would have given me in those early days when I had no idea where to start. When I talk to her she understands the demands of having a young family but she is also a practical woman too and knows that we’ll all be fine and will still be intact when we see her next.

I love celebrating Mothering Sunday with #1, 2 and 3. I love the look of pride on #1’s face when he feels he’s doing his part in giving Mummy a special day and I love sharing this special day with my family.

But I am a daughter too and I would love to be with my Mum on this special occasion. If there is another thing this expat life has given me, it is to appreciate and treasure all the special days I get to spend with her.

Happy Mother’s Day to all our Mums here and far away.



4 responses to “For my Mum and yours

  1. Kelly Yuen says:

    Haha made me chuckle. Olly is a cutie! Well they all are!! And 5 pancakes! Wow


  2. joannelee92 says:

    I love par and I love how the kids make it so special for you x


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