It’s my second week of Lisa-Jo Baker‘s Five Minute Friday and this week the word is ‘Grace’
So here goes:
I recently watched this beautiful video by Shaun Lichti entitled ‘What she taught Me.’ The video shows Shaun, a young man who was home educated, reflecting on the love of reading instilled in him by his mum. It was, he says, the snuggling on the couch reading stories, listening to her voice for hours, which made him want to emerge himself in the magical world of story.
When I first saw it, I cried. Tears streamed down my face and it made me think of all the things I want to achieve as a mother for Jasper. I want him to be happy; I want him to remember that I had time to play with him; to join in with him and not just shout at him not to get dirty, to tidy his room or wash his hands in time for tea. I want to give him the opportunities to try everything and find what it is that he really loves; to help him not be afraid to speak his mind and to have courage in his own convictions. I want him to be well-mannered and considerate; to be open-minded and polite; to always try his best and approach everything positively.
As I thought about these things, I thought about my own mum. My lovely mum. I argue with my mum a lot. Not seriously, we’ve always had a fiery relationship and we make-up as quickly as we’ve fallen out, usually several times in a minute. I complain that she doesn’t listen, she complains that I’m too critical. But whatever our disagreements, I know this. Everything I want for Jasper is based on what she taught me; what she showed me to try to be. She was never afraid to be different, she doesn’t follow a crowd. She’d wait in the car for hours with a baby for me to finish my piano lesson; she’d spend all her evenings in a freezing swimming pool (no doubt with us screaming) whilst we all took turns to have swimming lessons. She played with us- really played. In the late eighties when we were growing up, it was the time when all the risk-aversion was just starting. Was it safe to play outside? Should you really make dens in the wood? My mum said yes and we had a fantastic childhood.
Long before we had the internet, she’d spent hours scouring bookshops and newspapers, looking for stories we’d enjoy. She was a whirlwind – whizzing all over town in her white metro, giving her children the best chance she could.
And the thing about my mum? Unlike me, she does it all with grace. I’m a tad shouty, I’m volatile, I’m opinionated and I swear too much (although hopefully not in front of Jasper). Whenever people meet my mum though, they always comment, no one fails to notice. She smiles; she connects with everyone; she’s well spoken and she’s kind. Although she speaks her mind, she’s careful not to offend. She’s sweet; she’s thoughtful; she’s beautiful but she doesn’t know it.
My mum is Grace.