All week I've been contemplating how I can make her birthday special, the way she worked so hard to make each and every one of ours full of joy and wonder.
I'm sure most of you can recall small acts of love and kindness undertaken by your parents which remain in your memory. Here are 10 things I recall Mum doing which still make me smile today.
1. Eggcellent Easter
It's hard to say whether Christmas or Easter was more fun in our household. The day before Easter, we made nests for the Easter Bunny using Mum's lawn clippings. Come Easter morning, we'd wake up to find colourful hard-boiled eggs coated in decorative stickers. Even when we reached high school, Mum had us running around the house hunting for Easter eggs based on a series of riddles. One clue I still remember was "mini wave." We'd been searching for ages before one of us thought to check the microwave. Mum thought it was so clever she couldn't stop giggling.
2. Midnight Rescue
3. Class Party Favourites
4. Weird But Wonderful Pets
5. Crafty Weekends
One of my favourite things growing up was my Derwent pencil set. Mum bought me a corner desk for my bedroom, where I'd sit and copy cartoons from drawing books for hours. On weekends and during school holidays, she'd do special craft projects with me. I remember standing in the laundry watching her iron my plastic bead creations until they stuck together to make 3D pictures. She'd help me rip up old newspapers for paper mache and let me put empty chip packets in the oven so they'd shrunk to make keyrings.
6. Free-range Kid
Mum encouraged innovative thinking from a young age. I was forever dreaming up ways to earn money from our neighbours. After school I'd scoot over to a house where three girls lived; we were all close in age and similarly savvy. We knocked on all doors within about a kilometre radius of my house, asking home owners if they had any odd jobs. We made dog sitting pamphlets, set up lemonade stands and even transformed my old cubby house into a "casino." Mum was far from today's description of a "helicopter parent." As long as we were home before sun down, we were free to bother the neighbours as we pleased.
7. Mum's Taxi
For Year 11 and 12 I went to school in Brighton, which was an eighty minute commute from home. Both morning and evening, Mum would drop me at Frankston Station so I didn't have to catch the bus which wound all over Lakewood. Each day, I'd wait for Mum in the carpark at the "back of the station;" It was where all the drugies hung out. If she was more than a few minutes late, I'd call her and demand to know where she was. If it was cold or there were sketchy looking people around, I'd tell her to "hurry up." On Saturdays I worked as a receptionist in Mornington, a 40-minute drive in the opposite direction to school. After dropping me off, she'd go back home, make brunch, clean the house and prepare dinner so she could get cooking as soon as she got back from collecting me.
8. Mum's Pet Boarding
When our family dog Buddy died, Mum said no to getting a replacement puppy. When I begged, she'd say, "you can buy a dog the day you move out". So I did. I bought a chihuahua around my 18th birthday. Two years later, I enrolled at uni and asked Mum if I could move back home to save on rent. She begrudgingly agreed, knowing as if it were fate, she'd become feeder, groomer and poo picker-upper in a few short weeks.
9. 1300 MUM-ON-CALL
10. Home, Sweet Home
Without fail, each time I return to Melbourne, Mum invites me around for dinner within the first few days and makes my favourite meal. Most of the time I request a roast lamb with golden veggies and tinned peas. I've given up trying to make my potatoes crispy like hers.
|Mum and I at our favourite restaurant in New York ;)|
Love ya, Mum.