I don't know about you, but I am one of life's 'spontaneous singers'. I like to randomly burst into song at any given moment and sing with such passion and gusto that I l like I could give Pavarotti or Mariah Carey a run for their money. In the car. In the shower. Doing the dishes. I firmly believe that I have been blessed with the voice of an angel and it is my job to share this gift with everyone around me. This also means that my 9 year old daughter is often an unwilling recipient of these sporadic operatic performances, much to her dismay. And she certainly doesn't mince her words when it comes to critiquing my (lack of) singing ability.
I'll share with you a prime example of said critique which happened earlier this week. I was belting out my favourite Spice Girls tune (they are the epitome of what an awesome girl band should be) and, to my mind, I sounded pretty darn good. (I often daydream about being the 6th Spice Girl 'Curly Spice', but that's another story!). My daughter walks into the room and, for want of a better description, has a face like a 'bulldog chewing a wasp'. Her frown is so deeply set into her forehead that I'm convinced I can see the words 'OMG' written within the frown lines. She is oozing embarrassment, horror and disgust all in one look (it's actually quite a skill to convey such deeply negative emotions with one facial expression). Despite her obvious disdain at my beautiful singing, I refuse to stop. It's my house and my voice is amazing. If she doesn't like it, she can leave the room. But next comes the tutting. Big, loud, juicy tuts, unnecessarily noisy and far too high in quantity (who ever really needs to tut more than once at a time?). I subconsciously find myself singing with slightly less enthusiasm than moments before. When the tutting fails to shut me up completely, my beautiful daughter rolls her eyes and opens her mouth... uh-oh.... 'PLLLLEEEAAASSSSEEE will you just SHUT UP MUM?! You can't even sing! It's painful to listen to and you're not even doing it properly. And I should know...' I should probably mention here that my daughter has professional singing lessons every week and recently achieved a distinction in her musical theatre exam. Of course I am a very proud Mummy indeed, but from the moment she passed her exam it's been like having our very own little Beyonce in the house! A gorgeous little diva who knows how to sing 'properly'.... unlike her frumpy housewife of a mummy. So I give in and shut up. To be perfectly honest, I didn't have the emotional energy or inclination for an argument with my 9 year old at teatime on a Monday.
Okay so I am slightly digressing here. The point is, my daughter is constantly getting embarrassed by the things that I say & do. She often speaks to me like something she accidentally brought in on the bottom of her shoe and, on the odd occasion, she has been pretty convincing in her dislike of me as a person. But the truth is; I love her. I love her with all of my heart and soul and I know she loves me. When she has a strop or frowns or tuts or critiques it doesn't penetrate my heart because, for her, it's simply an emotional vent. She can scream, cry, tell me she hates me and stomp her foot on every single stair, but I am going nowhere. I'm her mummy and she is my world. She says and does these things because she knows she can. Because for every moment of her making me feel bad, there are a million moments when she makes me feel so good. As her mum, I look at her with such an unconditional love in my heart and I find it so refreshing. This relationship between a mother and her daughter is like no other. So naturally, it got me to thinking about my relationship with my own mum.
I could hear myself breathing a tad heavier as I began to write this paragraph. Inhale. Exhale. Where do I start? Okay. I think I'll start with an admission of guilt. I am guilty of always seeing the worst in my mum and letting her get under my skin. I am guilty of throwing her mistakes back in her face and blaming her for so many of the insecurities and 'quirks' I have developed over the years. I am guilty of never having enough time for her and for comparing her to the more 'wholesome' mumsy mums of this world. I am guilty of, at times, hating her and pushing her away. I am guilty of punishing her for the mistakes she made and I am guilty of judging her for the bad choices she made in life which consequently affected me.
And now she is gone.
With every fibre of my being I wish I could tell her that none of it matters. The heartache. The desperation. The pain of a broken childhood. We are all humans and we all mess up sometimes. I wish so desperately that I could tell her how sorry I am for not taking the time to show her how important she was to me. That if I was allowed just one more day with her, I wouldn't change a thing about her. I don't care about the things that went wrong because I know she loved me possibly more than anyone ever has. I would tell her that she has left a void in my heart which is irreplaceable and I sometimes ache to give her a cuddle.
I watched my beautiful little mummy suffer in a way that nobody ever should. She fought her cancer with a courage and a tenacity that I have never seen before and doubt whether I will see again. I was able to cuddle her and tell her I loved her before she slipped away, but it still doesn't feel quite real. I never did get to take her out for lunch like I promised. 'We'll get round to it Mum, I'm just so busy...'
So ladies, why not show your mum today just how beautiful she is? We really do only get one Mum so I beg you to make the most of her, she's doing the best she can.
God bless you all.
Lisa @ Lighthouse x