Monday, 16 March 2015

Revelation

It was 10am on Sunday. I had done the laundry, served the breakfast, baked a cake, washed up, prepared a stew, riddled the fire and laid out squash and biscuits for the cubs and scouts in church.

When, I thought, does Mothering Sunday begin?

2pm on Sunday. I had attended church, served squash and biscuits to the cubs and scouts, sat through the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, cooked the lunch, washed up and mopped the kitchen and bathroom floors.

When, I thought, does Mothering Sunday begin?

7pm on Sunday. I had sorted the under-stairs cupboard, changed the sheets, crashed out of a Monopoly game with the children, made their tea, washed up, fetched in the coal, unblocked a drain and performed an emergency dash to Co-op.

And it began to dawn on me…

…I had relished every minute of it all. I don't usually find the vigour to bake after breakfast. The bed sheets had at least another month of wear left in them. The kitchen floor hasn't been washed since our tabby vomited up bird parts last autumn and ordinarily I leave my kids for hours on their iPods rather than face a board game.

But this Sunday I was unusually energised. Even the fistful of drowned slugs jamming the kitchen drain gave me satisfaction. And there was enough of this miraculous energy left over to be nice to my children who, startled by my novel sunniness, suspended hostilities, ate my stew without weeping and hung the laundry on the drying rack.

It struck me then - a truth I have never realised before. Mothering Sunday is not about being feted by my children; it's about earning them. The chores were a tribute, not drudgery.

Today I have lapsed back into my customary cantankerousness. There was nothing invigorating about packing the school lunch boxes. But, when I quail at the thought of enduring Key Stage 2 spelling lists this evening, I shall try to remember yesterday when I was newly grateful for my children, instead of expecting them to be grateful for me.

How was it for you?







12 comments:

  1. Hm... No, I didn't reinvent my chores as a tribute. Can't say that I did. All strength to your arm, though!

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    1. It was marvellous while it lasted! Although, I suppose you could say that I should have been spending time in my children's company rather than indulging myself in pleasant solitude!

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  2. I wondered what was up once you mentioned you'd changed your sheets! Sacre Bleu - must have been a special occasion ;) And it so it was and so is being a mum as you so cleverly,as always, say x

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    1. It had been on my mind to do for quite some weeks, but I'm wary of rushing in to things!

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  3. Gosh, I didn't do ANY of that! I bounced up and down on the bed demanding presents until SD said he felt sea sick. In my defense, it WAS my Birthday as well as Mothers Day so I felt perfectly justified in doing nothing other than shoveling in cake with both hands and shouting 'bring me tea' at regular intervals.

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    1. That sounds a superb way to celebrate. I don't know what came over me. I'm quite recovered now, though!

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  4. Two of my chidren bought me lunch and cocktails in London (the third child was looking after his sick girlfriend) and bought me flowers, chocolates and fudge. That is what I call Mothering Sunday!

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    1. I would have absolutely no problem calling that Mothering Sunday either. Wasn't given the chance, though!

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  5. I love the optimism and vigour of that last two posts.... I have to admit to putting all my chores to the side and enjoyed being indulged on Sunday. But I love the idea of earning your children - it cuts both ways! X

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    1. It's not an idea that strikes me very often. And I'm definitely in the market for a Mothering Sunday spoiling, were one ever to be on offer!

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  6. Well that's certainly one way to look at it...
    Our mothering day is in Summer and is also the birthday of my goddaughter, so these days I forget about it mostly...

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    1. Don't blame you. I'm not keen on organised love-ins.

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