Kate’s going on a date tonight. She looks exquisite. But she thinks she looks fat. I had a real moment. I know we all joke about how we become our mothers, but fuck, I felt like I was starring in a generational sliding doors. And not only because it’s exactly how every night out played out for me and my mom. The thing I found particularly freaky was the frustration I felt at her not hearing me. Just like I never heard my mom. I felt the very emotion I know my mom felt. It was weird. The futility. The frustration. Sometimes it really is just futile, even commenting as a mom, because they just don’t believe you. I never did. And as much as you profess (and they know it to be true) that the only one they can really rely on to be honest is you, their mom, they still don’t believe you because you are their mom and that’s why to you they are perfect. It’s quite confusing. In fact I know the only way Kate and I are ok is if I agree with her. It usually works, but clearly I can’t tonight. I daren’t. And anyway, I don’t. She looks gorgeous and she looks skinny. And that is really all that matters to her in this effed up world we inhabit. Anyway, she flew down the corridor in a huff, just like me, sorry mom, I know it never was your fault how I was feeling but I now know I knew I could take it out on you and we’d still be ok, anyway, she ran to Jem and asked her if she looked fat. Jem looked up and said nah. And that was enough for Kate. I didn’t even feel offended, I was just relieved. But I am determined to never ever ask B if I look fat in whatever I’m wearing again.
Realising how young Jem really still is and being grateful for her little quirks got me thinking about something that does actually bother me a bit. I’m a little taken aback by how some parents let their young girls and by this I guess I’m referring to girls of thirteen, fourteen and under, dress. We are encouraging our daughters to grow up, yet we are the very ones who shake our heads in regret at how quickly they are growing up. I do agree we need to let them be themselves and grow and experiment but we also need to be parents, guiding and explaining and sharing. I thought about this a couple of weekends ago as a group of girls walked down Thomas Street, tottering on heels they couldn’t walk in, some wearing skirts that barely covered their fannies, hair and make up done to the nines, walking in a pack. They then crossed the road, clearly uncertain what to do with this so called womanly fabulousness. And got ice-creams. They were all about 12 or 13, apparently year 7’s. Inappropriately revealingly dressed and thankfully nowhere to go. And they looked ridiculous. Like girls who were playing dress up. But weren’t. All self aware, and self-conscious wearing bustiers but with no busts. Well, some of them. I loved Noosa then for those girls, but I truly truly did wonder, what were their moms thinking
I am very very grateful for Kate and Jem. To be the mother of two such mischievous, interesting, beautiful, challenging, kind, argumentative, inquiring daughters is an honour. I am filled with gratitude for the blessing of them. And for the blessing of my own mother. I am so very grateful for you mom, today and forever. You inspire me to be better. I am grateful that you know how much I appreciate you. And love you.
Today we celebrated my mom’s birthday early, so we could be together. With breakfast out. As our family does. I am grateful for the tradition of breakfast at Moyo for Lesley’s birthday. I love my mom and am proud that she is still so exquisitely beautiful at 72. She is the perfect example to me of inner beauty shining out. My mom is irreverent, fun, kind, honest, true, non judgemental and accepting of all and everything. She has an inner strength that sometimes I think not even she is aware of. She is the one who taught me to just do what you have to do. She does all she does, irreverent or not, naughty or not, with utmost grace and dignity. I am grateful to have been blessed with Lesley as my mom. Just as my girls are blessed to have her as a granny. I am grateful they have the perfect example of the kind of woman I hope they both grow up to be.
Being the mom of a gorgeous teenage girl is quite challenging. I imagine being the daughter of a control freak mom must be quite challenging too. We have some very funny moments. Some very emotional moments. Some quite volatile moments. Those moments where I’m not sure who the adult is anymore. Which is why I am very grateful we talk and giggle and share. A near perfect moment today, the beach, a flat white from Hard Cafe and a girly chat with Kate.
What an unexpected treat. A cuddle from a tiny bub. I am grateful that it was me little Yumi chose to fall asleep on. I am grateful I had a moment to spare. The feeling of that little body relaxing, getting heavier and heavier. Pure bliss. For me. It reminded me of when Kate and Jem were little bubs. I am grateful I was blessed to be a mom. To be their mom. Or mum.
I am grateful for the cup of tea Kate made me tonight. Not because it was tea, and not because I think I deserved it being the wonderful, never hung over, attentive mom that I am. But because I never asked. ‘Mum, (they say mum now, not mom, cos then they’ll be weird here where moms are mums), would you like a cup of tea?’ Sweet.