Mothering Sunday

Here’s to a day in praise of mothers :

“But kids don’t stay with you

if you do it right.  

It’s the one job where,

the better you are,

the more surely

you won’t be needed

in the long run.”  

— Barbara Kingsolver 


Let go, Mum

For reasons I cannot even explain to myself, I have been lingering down memory lane these days.  Perhaps it is the hours I spent on YouTube listening to songs of yesteryear that brought me there.  Yeah, probably.   What else can it be?

My daughter has just sent off her application for culinary school.   She is nervous, “It is real now”.   Yes, my dear, the world is waiting for you out there.  So allow me to stay a little longer and cherish some precious pearly moments before I let you go.

1)  I don’t understand

Mama, please tell me
Felix is always allowed
   another sweet
   a second frizzy
   to leave the greens on his plate, crumbs
   all over the place

Why are you, Mama
   not too busy
To answer all his questions
He can always
For tea, for more TV

If, it is because
Felix lives
  not in this house
I wish I were
Living at his place

2)  Best bits

I don’t know about you
But I do love
Blue icing
  on Lizzie’s birthday cake
Chocolate flakes
   in my yoghurt corner
Crispy crust
  of my toast, also, my pizza

Since I have
  no brothers, nor sisters
I always save
Till last

3)  Just for once

Keep telling me what to do
What to put on
When to feed
Where to keep my toys
How not to raise my voice

Just for once, I’d like to
Drink my water as I please
Finish my rice
Eat my ribs
As slowly
can be

Just for once, if you’d
Telling me

4)  It’s not fair

And it made me very cross —
When Papa and Mama
  talked, I wanted to
  join in

I could not

“Say excuse me please”
“Wait till we finish”

When I was a baby, they got me to
Open up
Then when I did
They told me to
Shut up

5)  Mama is always too busy

When I am not watching
My favourite programmes on TV
I want to play Domino, or Junior Scrabble
No!  Mama is ironing, or setting the table

When I have to stop the video, or square eyes
I will have I am told
I’d like to go swimming, perhaps roller skating
No!  Mama is hoovering, and the linen needs changing

Then — 
Mama has just put her feet up in front of the telly
Would she go and fetch my jelly
No, I’d rather
Mama is catching up with the news, and she hasn’t been
Sitting down all day

6)  I can’t do that

I told Papa
Go to work
Not to worry
I’ll take Mama to the hospital
Look after her
Make sure she’s comfortable

A long wait
We have had a long day
Mama looks pale and frail
She needs a rest
A quiet space
She asks
To be left alone

I can’t do that

I have to make it clear
  “Why do I have to leave you alone

7)  Have a look

Why did you shout at me, Papa?
Can you see
My feeling
You hurt it a little bit

8)  Mama’s grey hair

I will look after you when you are old, Mama
I shall tidy up
   do your shopping
   make you a second cup
I may even cook you dinner, wash your car  —  no
No, I’ll take you

But, Mama
  Look here
It’s another
  Grey hair
You pull it out
  Or I will
Not later

9)  Don’t worry about me, Mama

I am four
Of course I am old enough
To know
Getting married is
  to hold hands and have a cuddle

When I grow up
You know
I’ll marry the one I love most

When I grow up you know,
He is the one I love most

10)  I want to be …

When I was first asked
What I’d like to do
When I am bigger
    “ At a supermarket check-out, so Mama and Papa can come to my counter”

That question came back
After a year
This time
     “ At the same place with Papa
       I’ll be a scientist too and go to work in his car”

Maybe it’s not a good idea
Perhaps, a gymnast?
I just learnt cartwheels and somersaults —
That was the thought,
Much later

Now, if you’d ask me
Well…… I just want to be
Like Mama
Staying home
Cooking dinner

That’s all folks.

This mum has to let go.  Her baby is going into the world to make a mark of her own.  She can no longer hold her hand and watch her every step.  Mum will always be there, though, if she calls…