I woke up this morning to gloom, rain, and the colour gray. It’s official: I am entering my first Victorian winter.
That it’s Sunday softens the blow of such dreary weather, as it justifies my decision to spend the day snug as a bug in sweatpants (trackies, according to Australia) and my trusted blanket cocoon.
Were I back home in Canada, I’d be spending today – Mother’s Day – with my beloved mum.
In her absence – or, I suppose, in my absence – I’m dedicating today’s post to none other than mama Jude.
Now a few years into retirement, mum keeps a busier social calendar than I do. She’s always off somewhere, taking cooking classes, learning Spanish, or drinking craft beer with her girlfriends. But no matter how jam-packed her schedule may be, and no matter where in the world my siblings and I might find ourselves (we are seldom all three in the same country, never mind continent), she makes time to remind us that our distance is little more than geography. Her virtual check-ins and proclamations of love are a continual reminder of what I’ve enjoyed for more than 28 years: a kind, doting, and perma-worried mother. I recognize that this is not the case for all of us, and for that reason I am especially grateful for the family I have and the doors they’ve opened for me along the way.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about parenting. (No, not about becoming one. When you hit your late twenties, you quickly realize just how wide the gap between your friends is: half are tucking their toddlers into bed at night, while the other half is tucking into a[nother] bottle of merlot. Take a wild guess which camp I subscribe to…)
Much as I sometimes hate to admit it, “adulting” is inevitable. For many, the path to adulthood does, at some stage, include kids. But as we ourselves age, we increasingly say and hear things like, “Ugh, I’m becoming my mother.” Like it’s something to avoid, something to be ashamed of.
It gives parenting a bit of a bad rap, doesn’t it? As a parent you spend months, years, decades trying to provide the little person you’ve built with the right tools and tricks to successfully navigate The Great Unknown. Laden with negative connotations, statements like these reduce that hard work and patience down to a handful of shortcomings or flaws.
Here’s the thing, though: those bumps and grooves, those imperfections, are precisely what life as a human being is all about.
So today, on Mother’s Day, let’s worry less about being our parents and focus more on seeing our parents for all that they’ve done, do, and will continue to do to help us go out there and kick ass.
Mum: Thank you for always encouraging me to scribble my thoughts down on paper. From you I have learned so much about independence, courage, and contemplation. You are a rockstar.