The First Mother’s Day

March presented another potentially awkward first for us all – Mother’s Day.

There was a difficult time at school on the Thursday before when the children were doing the traditional “make something for Mother’s Day” activity. I had already discussed with TA and TF that this was coming up and had also raised it in advance with the class teacher. The school had made provision for the twins to have an alternative activity, if they so wanted, away from the classroom. As far as I could understand TA was happy to go and do this but TF wanted to remain in the classroom.

I had been arriving for school pickups a little early, mainly to get a parking space within a decent distance from school, but it also afforded me time to read or make some calls. On Thursday I had just parked up at about 3pm when the school called me to say the boys were struggling. Luckily I was able to walk down and meet them early. TF was rather grumpy but TA seemed fairly happy. The staff met me at the door and I was presented with some freshly painted, still wet, pebbles “for Mum”.

I’m not sure what paints had been used but boy did they give off, what could be described as, an intoxicating whiff. Whilst carrying these pebbles on the palms of both hands, my phone rang highlighting the awkwardness of my situation. I rather foolishly left these pebbles in my car to dry – made for an eye-watering sit down in there the next morning.

Once home, it took a while for TF to settle but things were soon back to normal.

On the day of the funeral, back in December, when I suggested to my boys that we would go back to the burial site on Mum’s birthday, TA also suggested that we could also visit on Mother’s Day. This was amazing forethought at the time and it impressed me greatly.

A few times in the time running up to Mother’s Day I had asked the boys what they wanted to do regarding visiting the site. In the end, none of them had a desire to go. With the coronavirus worries ongoing it was probably best to not go out but there was this odd feeling that one should. As with my wedding anniversary, there was this odd feeling that one “should” do something. I have pondered this strange feeling of why we feel we should do something on certain dates or days and will write about it separately.

I had plans to make a memory box or jar with boys and give them the books I had received from Winston’s wish about feelings and remembering a deceased parent. On the day itself, though, it just didn’t feel right. I said a few times throughout the day that it was Mother’s Day to acknowledge it and make everyone aware of it but we had a pretty normal Sunday. We all did our own morning things and then, later on, we played some games together (the Yu Gi Oh card game I recall) and I played one of TA’s very creative game creations.

Did it feel odd to not do “something”? Yes. Did it feel wrong? No. Times like this require each of us to decide what is right for us. I had thought this was going to be a hard day. I felt that it was right for us to just be aware of what the societal expectation was. Forcing a “remembering-Mum” activity on the boys when they were not really ready didn’t seem like a good idea when it came to it. The reality was that no one was judging us and, even if they were, it would be none of their bloody business. We just did what was right for us and that was to just be normal and be together. In fact, it feels quite nice to not follow that feeling of “should”. I much prefer “because I/we want or need to”.

I hope that one day, fairly soon, we will all sit down and make a memory jar and do other similar things but I think the timing should feel right to us and not be brought into the fore just because of a tenuous calendar event construct rather than an actual need.

As is my usual way of doing things “slightly too late” when I went to order my own Mum some flowers for Mother’s Day I found that deliveries were a little more restricted in some places, owing to the coronavirus and that I would have to choose a later date. Oops. Sorry, Mum. They did arrive in the week though.

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