Tuesday, 7 February 2012

My Mum

Last week I blogged about my Dad and this week is naturally about my mum!

Where does someone start to talk about their mum.
As a young girl I looked to this woman, small built but with a strength and character that was simply enormous, and craved to one day be as strong and confident as my mum. I would walk around in her high heels and experiment with her make-up.
As I grew and hit the turbulence of adolesence I could turn to my mum with any one of the million confusing questions that swam around my head, and she would answer them as honestly as possible. To have a mother where no topic was taboo, no subject too difficult to discuss is a god-send to a very mixed up teenager.
My mum is the one responsible for our busy house. Naturally as a mother she worried about my brothers and I, and especially when we each reached the ages of being out all night socialising. My mum combated this worry by allowing my brothers and I an 'open' house. We knew that no matter what time of the day or night we could bring one or ten friends home with us, in all states of intoxication. It was enough to her that she knew where we were and that we were safe, so bringing our friends with us was simply seen as a insignificance. As such we all grew in a busy people filled home, and each have that same desire for our own children.
it is hard to measure what makes a good mother, but surely one whom their children can approach with any difficulties or problems is a mark of success, and this is exactly what we could do with my mum. Not only could we take our own troubles and predicaments, many times we took our friends issues too. We could never understand those children and teenagers who could not take problems to their own mum, or who hid things from them. If they couldnt turn to their own mother, we took them to ours. As a parent myself, I can only hope and pray that I can offer my own children this same sense of acceptance, love and security that my mum gave us.

My mum has the biggest heart of all. She would give her last to anyone, and her life to her family.
My mum is not as confident nor as self-assured as she once was and I wish that just for a moment she could see herself through my eyes, through the eyes of her daughter who has nothing but love and admiration for her and all she has achieved.

Perhaps the true aim of a mother is to provide their children with secure independence whilst always knowing that they can ask for help when needed, and knwoing who can provide that help.
In my darkest hours, both as a teenager and an adult, I am always transgressed back to a little child, and I simply want my mum.
No-ones hugs are as warm and as comforting as my mums.
No-ones words are as reassuring as my mums.
No-one has ever believed in me as much as my mum.

Maybe the measure of a mother is only truly understood when you become a mother yourself. it is as though life suddenly makes sense. I finally understand what she meant when she said she loved me more than life; I finally realise why she made decisions I argued against at the time; I have an awareness of all the sacrifices she made yet hid from us at the time; I can look back with regret and heartbreak at the times I hurt her, knowing now how much it would pierce my heart should my children do it to me. I can look back and say that we were not "The Waltons" but we were lucky and priveleged children to have everything our hearts could ever have desired, and to know that it was all given with nothing but love and adoration is a truly warming thought.

I love my mum and can only hope and pray that I can give my children the same sense of acceptance, love, and security that my mother has given me, and still does.

Thank you doesnt even come close to the gratitude I feel to my mum, for everything and for just being her. My mum berates herself for not being 'perfect' and can focus on negatives at times, she can belittle her parenting. In times like this I wish I could reach in her head and let her see the truth. Let her see that no matter what, she is the perfect mother for my brothers and I because she is our mother and there is no other person the world over I would rather call my mum, and no-one could ever, ever be all that she is to me.

I love you mum, and thank-you.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

My Dad.

I am sitting down to write after what can only be described as a hellish shift at work, bruised and tired yet yearning to write something and so I turn to a topic which can at best leave me speechless...my Dad.

My Dad is an ordinary man. An athlete in his younger years, he then worked hard as a police officer, and numerous other jobs after retiring from the force on ill health. Laterly his back and encroaching arthritis can cause him some pain and down days but he alwasy somehow musters through it. Granted, not without a lot of moaning and groaning but hey, who doesnt moan?
The hardest thing my dad has worked at his whole life however, is being a father. Not only to me but also to my three brothers, whom my mother had from her first marriage. He has raised the four of us all as his own and he and my mother have done a damn fine job of shaping the adults we have become.
Now in his retirement he welcomes the chance to do it all again in helping me to raise my children, to step into the huge void left by their own father by being a wonderful hands on Grandad.
To me that makes this ordinary man pretty extraordinary.

He is not a tall or super strong man, yet I know that throughout my years thus far, he has carried me many times, and I know that on his shoulders I can reach the stars.

A humble and unassuming man who has no idea how highly everyone regards him, and would brush off the notion that he is such a well respected man. He may not have a knighthood or title, but he is without doubt the noblest of all men.

He is friend to the vulnerable, and can bear no injustice to those innocents in the world. Gentle to man and beast alike, yet he would give his life to protect his own dear family.

Where would I be without my Dad? May I nor my children ever live to know the answer to such a question.

Who would show my son how to be a man, moreover, how to be a good man?
Who would walk a mile in the snow to see their grandchildren, ill with flu, only to kiss them goodnight and then walk the mile hike home again, alll because they wanted to see him before they went to bed?
Who would remind me every week to take my bins out?
Who would moan with me about politics?
Who would encourage my every whimsical dream and desire?
Who on earth would ever love me and be as dependable as my Dad?

Perhaps, the past few years have allowed me a certain perspective. It has been said many times that only when we become parents ourselves, do we truly understand and appreciate our own parents. This has certainly been true for me, with both my parents, but perhaps even more so my Dad.
My children have a father in name only. My son has no memory of him and my daughter has never even met him.
I have an utmost respect for any man who not only loves their children, but who embraces being a father, and who fights for their paternal rights. This respect comes from knowing a man who ran away from his responsibilities as fast and as far as his legs could take him.
This makes me appreciate my  own father in a whole new way.

In his retirement, I wish my father had an nice relaxing, easy and comfortable life. I know that at present this is not the case, and I bear guilt for that, but I also know that my Dad neither criticises nor condemns me for any of it.
To him, thats just what Dads do.

So this blog is for my Dad.
As a baby he held me close and rocked me to sleep.
As a young girl he sang me songs on his knee and let me sit on his shoulders.
As a teenager he blamed himself for my adolescent miseries.
As a young adult he supported every step I took towards my independence.
Now as a woman and a mother he still cuddles me if I cry; carries me when I am weak; wishes he can fix the troubles in my life; and supports my every decision.

Sometimes there are no words expressive enough to articulate your true thoughts and feelings so I will just have to settle for those which come the closest.

Thank you for everything Dad.
We love you x