Mothers’ Day

Right now it’s raining and it’s as if a switch was turned on as May 1st turned over on the calendar. As I write, one persistent tortoiseshell lady with muddy paws is making her presence felt in a big way. She’s been fed, petted and talked to, but is finding it hard to settle. She’s been deposited on her favourite chair – the computer chair next to mine at the work table, but nothing is good enough today. This is the lady who was bitten by a snake the Summer before last and nearly died. She fortunately was observed as she went from playful to comatose within minutes and was whisked off to the Vet and into Critical Care. Since her close brush with death, her convalescence and recovery, she has enjoyed her girl times every now and then. Today is one of those times. As she lies draped across my chest in total relaxation, we are watching the geese, at eye level due to the rising land behind the house. They are observing us too and we are having a playful exchange of chin lifting in greeting and acknowledgement. The flock have been rehearsing their Winter repertoire of noises and calls – chuckling in the rain, excited gossiping at finding a hole dug for a new tap fitting, honking in preparation for the dam filling with water as it rains more. Rain and water to swim in mean mating season. The ganders are practising their hisses, it will soon be time to jockey for position in the flock with gander fights to determine who is Head Gander this year. Most likely it will be Mr Smudge, still the tallest, the biggest and the strongest and the chap with the most attitude. In a few years he will have some competition, as a couple of the young ganders gain weight and gravitas. They’re working on their attitude, although from close observation some just seem to be born with it. Young Lieuw survived as the only gosling raised by his mother, Lieuw-Lieuw this year gone by. He was loud, very present and noticeable right from the start. He also has the advantage of having unusual markings and a very large ‘bump’ on his head – a sort of lump made of feathers which stand up a little like a crest. Not all geese have it and those who do can be ganders or geese. It does seem to confer status. I’m predicting an interesting life for the Young Lieuw. The line was originally named in honour of Chef ep_38_-_Ch_m1312665Cheong Lieuw – here he is with Simon Bryant at the Hilton, back in the day! – nice recipes here!
Mothers’ Day is looming again – how very quickly it comes around to be dealt with! My relationships with my own mothers are dealt with as far as possible, or at any rate as far as I’m going to take them or spend time on them. My own mothering has taken a hammering this year, as my own Daughter explores radical honesty. We have had one or two explosive outbursts of honesty and exchanges of views. Life goes on as we grapple with our demons. She has 39 years less history than I do and a different relationship to adoption. I am happy to be able to show her photos of her birth and to tell her of how she smiled and was a content baby. She has a full record of her early life with no gaps, mysteries or unanswered questions.
I worked hard at parenthood, but nevertheless have some regrets and am not happy to be told she thinks she should have had more boundaries as a teen!! Hindsight is a wonderful things as they say. Yes, I could have done it better and I hope she can be gracious when her turn comes to be told she could have done it better! usSoon she will be moving from home for the last time as she makes her own home and has her opportunity to do it her way. What a wonderful advantage that is and she’ll enjoy every moment of it. It’s been an amazing year of change and I admire my own daughter more than anyone I know. She has courage, tenacity, empathy, compassion and is the most thoughtful Daughter and the most loyal friend anyone could have the privilege to know.
We will be going out for a picnic on Sunday. If the weather is wet it will be a ‘car picnic’ – something we enjoy as we munch our way through the goodies in the warmth and comfort of the car. Happy Mothers’ Day to all. I hope that those who fear it’s memories, loses and gaps get through better than last year. I hope we all do.


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