…and as I remember, I got in a lot of trouble for it too mainly because I’d only just got my ears pierced and could easily have got a horrible ear infection. Probably did, in fact. I don’t recall.
Anyway, my mother. When I was younger – in fact, no, even now – I always wanted to be like her when I was older. I do still want to be like her when I am older. Strong, independent, interesting, practical, not fussy or pernickety. The kind of parent who tells you off by explaining why you shouldn’t do this or that, or why you ought to have said that not the other. Understand why something is wrong and you never do it again, partly because you’re wracked by guilt (perhaps) but mainly because it makes sense and you’re being treated with a degree of respect, trusted with the understanding to judge for yourself what is right and what is wrong.
She’s a strong woman and a role model, exactly the right degree of feminist, a woman whose home is where her toothbrush is and around whom everyone feels at home. Kind and friendly and interesting, the kind of mother my friends always have liked and got on with (almost better than they have with me on occasion!). A friend as well as being a parent, not instead of being a parent, who understands me, supports me, and sometimes gets it wrong – and isn’t afraid to say so if she does.
I told her all this at the bus stop the other day and she said afterwards how flattered she was. In our reserved way, though, it was just another chat, another silly conversation, and we joked about it as much as we were serious. And apparently I’m not necessarily a million miles away from some time being like that – I just have to live, first. And isn’t that exciting?