When Mothers Day comes around it is always delightful to see or hear from one’s offspring, receive cards and display graceful acceptance of their dutiful appreciation. But other than this I tend to feel a little melancholy as the day arrives; because I have reached the advanced stage of becoming the oldest generation, the matriarch, if you like, and this means I have no older, female family members to choose a card or buy a bunch of flowers for.
I also grow more aware, as my adult children grow older of the pitfalls I can easily fall into whilst attempting not to replicate the behaviour of my own parents as they aged. Whilst I have promised myself what and what not to do, I begin to realise that I may transgress without knowing it! Horrors! So in the interests of keeping to the regime of well behaved, uncontroversial, un-embarrassing mother I write this list of Dos and Don’ts for myself.
Remember that song about the ‘Harper Valley PTA’?…[a number one hit for Jeannie C Riley in 1969] Well I suppose most people will be too young! Basically it was about a ‘mom’ who wore miniskirts to the school parents’ meetings. Whilst I am not yet ready, I feel, for elasticated waist, floral skirts and Bri-nylon ski pants I must be aware of the minefield of fashion faux pas that stretches ahead.
Undertake age-appropriate activities
One of the difficulties with this one is that I don’t actually know what activities are or are not age-appropriate. Should I be attending flower arranging classes, knitting things and playing Bridge? Or is it ok to take up motor-bike riding, learn electric guitar and go to raves?
That thing about going upstairs for an item and returning with something totally different does not improve with age, rather it becomes worse. Being aware of memory loss does not address the problem. What was I saying?
My own offspring are not slow to remind me of stories I’ve already told them, remarks and events they’ve heard before, which is, of course only too kind of them. I’m sure it is a most galling and irritating trait. I imagine, however that if I were to stray off into the realms of fantasy there would be much more cause for alarm.
My own offspring are not……..[oops!]
Like what they like
There is only one thing worse than your mum hating your music. That’s if she likes it. Apparently one should not claim to share one’s sprog’s taste in music, fashion, film or any other area of culture, or even, in fact know that these names exist, or ask about them. [Relates to number 2 of the ‘dos’].
This must be the worst behaviour any ageing parent can display. ‘You don’t wanna do it like that’- the most annoying words any adult offspring could have the misfortune to hear. I resolve to hold my tongue, that is if I can remember to do so.
Happy Mothers Day!
At some point in our lives as parents we cease to become god-like beings our babies look up to and want to emulate and become mildly comic and ridiculous caricatures of ourselves or annoying, cloying, drivelling old buffers.
How to avoid all this? I really don’t know.
Answers on a postcard…….[or in the comments box, please]