Thanks Mum, but it’s over to me now
WELL, I think all of my good intentions of last week have slightly back-fired. I’ve shot myself in the foot, thrown out the baby with the bath water and made a massive faux pas. I gave up my beloved column to my dear Mother, so she could have her right to reply to my previous columns and to celebrate Mothering Sunday, but it’s come back to haunt me and bite me on the backside. I’ve never had such a reaction from people about any of the other pieces I’ve written and every single person, bar none, have said how much better she is at it and will she be doing it anymore! Well I can quite categorically state that the answer to that is ’no’. Not because she doesn’t want to do one, but because my nose has been put firmly out of joint and I can’t risk being completely usurped and discarded, like an old Fleet Street hack. Having said all that, I too found the piece very entertaining and it did make me chortle. It’s funny, I do remember being a bit of a pain in the side for the majority of my growing years. If I wasn’t being a sickly toddler, then I was carrying my “terrible twos” into my teenage years and then going slightly off the rails after leaving school, so she did have to deal with quite a bit. She often says to me today that she hopes my own kids give me a little bit of the trouble I gave her, just so I know how she felt. Bringing up your kids surely has to be one of the most important things you will ever do in your life. There is no rule book printed, no instruction manual to follow, you literally have to wing it, go with your instincts and hope for a bit of luck on the way. We all, of course, learn from our parents and learn from our mistakes along the way, but how do we know if we’ve got it right? Nobody hands over a medal and congratulates us on what a good job we’ve done at the end of it. It’s a thankless task. I suppose the payment we get from them is the joy they bring along the rocky road. Because of the job I now do, I’ve had the privilege of meeting some kids that haven’t been dealt the best hand, that have had to deal with illness for a lot of their young lives – kids that make you feel humble. That is why we can never take our kids for granted and why we must cherish every moment, the good and the bad, the rough and the smooth.