It was Mothers’ Day here yesterday. I say ‘here’ meaning the UK, because I know other countries celebrate it at other times. Our Mothers’ Day changes each year – something to do with Easter wobbling about, which is something to do with the moon, I think. Never really figured out what or why because it never really interested me that much. All I know is that it often more-or-less coincides with my birthday, which means my offspring tend to send me some sort of greeting on one or the other, but rarely both.
This year the two dates were separated by a few weeks. All three remembered the birthday. For Mothers’ Day I received a text message and two phone calls, plus a DVD which arrived a week ago, it’s computer generated Amazon gift message proclaiming it to be an extra birthday/Mother’s Day gift.
I just didn’t rear the kind of kids who splash out on expensive mail order bouquets, trawl through Etsy for the perfect personalised gift and quirky card or spatter Facebook with multi-coloured ‘best mum ever’ photo collages covered in hearts and anaemic-looking teddy bears. For that I’ll be eternally grateful.
No longer having a mother in the physical realm, I spent my Mothers’ Day communing with Mother Nature in my garden. It was a glorious spring day and I was blissfully happy, up to my elbows in deep, dark loam, planting out a new herb bed, enjoying the nodding daffodils and clearing the grass from the ever-expanding clumps of primroses and cowslips that beam up from every cranny and corner. My garden had a gift for me, too – a beautiful little tumbled crystal, just lying on the earth’s surface and waiting for me to find it.
In the evening, I sat down to watch the gift DVD – a sci-fi film called Arrival. My youngest had selected it for me because he knew I would love it – intelligent, very cleverly constructed, with some fascinating takes on how language, communication and – most important of all – time itself works. One line shone out and left me buzzing by the end. It was something like: Imagine writing a sentence, using both hands, and starting from both ends at once. You’d need to know everything that the sentence was going to contain in advance and you’d need to know exactly how much space to leave so that it met up perfectly. You’d need to know the future.
Yes, my kids don’t shower me with trinkets on Mothers’ Day, but they know me very well. I’m one lucky mother.