Mothered Not Smothered!
I’ve often wondered if we learn how to parent from our mother or how Not to! In my case I spent most of my life not living with my mother but grew up knowing I was loved. I have long ceased trying to understand my upbringing. Instead, I learned how to love and enjoy the person my mother was rather than the dwell on the mother she wasn’t.
When My Mother Was Young
My mother loved talking about her life in London when she was young. After a few beers the stories flowed and became just a little exaggerated. When I was studying to change careers from nursing to teaching I often drew on these tales to complete my Literary homework. To my fellow, much younger colleagues, it was a world they didn’t recognise. For me it became a time when my mother emerged from the maternal cloak to become a person in her own right.
Young Woman At The Window
She stood behind the lace curtains. Very slowly, almost stealthily she inched the curtains apart. Her deep brown eyes sparkled in anticipation. She looked. She saw. She laughed. Her whole body was alive with the excitement of the moment. No lady like chuckle escaped from her lips. Her laugh was full, rich and unconstrained. The message was self evident to all who heard it. “Life is fun!” She scanned the street outside. Directly in front of the small window she could see the figure of a young man. Not his face, but she knew who it was even with his back to her for she had arranged to meet him there. Across the road, in front of the Off Licence she could see another young man. Also waiting. His hair was slicked back and he wore a tie. It was difficult to see the third man. All she could see was a fleeting glimpse as he paced up and down further down the road. He looked very much like the other two really. Perhaps a little older if the mustache was anything to go by. The women turned as the door opened. A small, white haired man came into the room. His deep grey eyes met those of the young woman at the window. He shook his head. In exasperation, surprise or defeat who can tell.
What do you think your playing at Lass?” he asked quietly. The young woman shrugged her shoulders and let the curtains fall back together. She smiled at the man hoping it would ease the concern in his grey eyes. “Eh Lass you promised! Now go out there and send them all packing”. “No need Dad. Only Jack’s there now and ‘e’s got tickets for the theatre. Errol Flynn’s on! I’ll be ‘ome by ten. Promise!” Father and daughter locked gazes. A shared love bound them together. But, where one was innocent the other was tinged with something else. Apprehension, concern, foreboding? He searched the young girl’s face and could find no malice there. Only laughter and love filled the small, yet compact body. For a fleeting moment he ached to tell her that life would never be the way she imaged it would be at this moment. He knew that one day those laughing brown eyes would be shrouded with hurt. That her strong, proud body would ache to be held, loved and comforted. Laughing at fear, at danger, even death would be her shield.. She would guard it jealously for as long as the spark of life burned within her. Carefully she rearranged the curtains. The gas lamp outside no longer made a halo for her dark, unruly curls.
I know this woman well, yet we have never met. Sometimes I think I catch a glimpse of her, but it’s only my own reflection in the mirror.
Did this story resonate with you? If you would like to share a story from your mother please leave a message below.