Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Mum's the word

based on diary entry 18/02/11
I now look at my mum in a totally new light. No, not because she forgot to lock the bathroom door earlier, but because I now have an understanding, in part, of what she went through when she raised three children. Three. I realise that the weight of that fact will never feel that heavy until you experience at least one of these miniature people for yourself - and until you've welcomed one into your home, your life and your sleep. That's not to sound condescending to you who haven't experienced this, it's just to suggest that you never fully appreciate what someone has been through until you have been through it yourself. I'm not sure I'll ever fully know that to the full - at this rate one child will be a big enough challenge for me for a lifetime.
I sometimes wonder if that's part of why becoming a grandparent is so rewarding - because finally your own children now feel the same depth of love that you have felt for them all their lives. That's not to say I loved my mum less before; more to say that there is now a new level of appreciation and understanding. This understanding is like gold in any relationship. I appreciate her grace as I say in disbelief "mum, he feeds every hour", and I await her look of horror only to be faced with a knowing smile; that silent understanding that is left unspoken... Mum's the word.
It works the same the other way around of course. When my mum looks back on my childhood with rose tinted glasses she is soon jolted into a more realistic hindsight when she is faced with her screaming grandson and she can't figure out how to help him. She says in disbelief "is he aways like this?", and I will adorn the same knowing smile she wore earlier. Right now I feel like my life is far from rosy but just you wait, in another twenty years or so I will be telling Albie how much I loved every minute of raising him, and every minute of getting woken up several times a night to feed him. Maybe it's just because life is so fragile, so precious and you never want to take it for granted. Maybe I need to start to appreciate him calling for me in the night because one day he may never even call me at all. One day I will look back and suppress all the bad times, like most mother's do, and I will annoy him for years to come with stories on repeat about the first time he laughed or cooed... or said the word 'Mum'.

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