I am always aware, even as I am enjoying the undoubted delights of Mothering Sunday, that for lots of people it is a day they want to be over and done with as soon as possible.
It's the day when we miss the mothers who are no longer with us, or mourn anew those who once called us Mum but cannot do so anymore. It's the day when those who have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive look around, wistfully, at those surrounded
by their children but who seem not to realise just how lucky they are.
Remembering this doesn't make it wrong to celebrate a special day just for mothers. Feeling guilty for being happy would spoil the joy
of little ones offering their mothers sweet posies of daffodils, of teenagers posting comical photos on Facebook accompanied by messages to "The best mum in the world", of grown-up sons and daughters carefully choosing cards which will make their mothers weep
happy tears. Have you ever noticed that Mother's Day is the only festival where you won't find rude or somewhat tasteless cards in the card shops? Mothers are just too special.
I spent today with exactly half
my family - two daughters and five grandchildren. The two who were unable to be there sent cards and flowers (a hundred daffodils and tulips!) and made sure to phone me during the day. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters couldn't make it today (the first
time forever, she mourns) but says not to worry because she has decided to change the date and Mothering Sunday will now be next weekend. Now there's positive thinking for you.
Among those who did make it
was Young Faris. He did offer to write today's Daily Blog but I have suggested that he stores up his various thoughts and opinions ( of which, as regular readers will know, he has many) until tomorrow. This will give me more time to sort out the mayhem caused
today by my Rampaging Rascal. To be fair, he was much easier to deal with today but this was mostly because we had Eleanor and Katie with us who were happy to race around after the rascal all afternoon. Sometimes I wish I were fifty years younger - though
then I would be the one scrambling over the rocks on the beach and trying to stop Faris jumping into the sea. Oh, hold on a minute, that was me a couple of weeks ago....
Faris's mum was once one of the Wistful
Ones, watching mums with their children and thinking "If only..." To her enormous credit nobody would ever have known just how she felt. She was the best of aunties to her nieces and nephews, all of whom adored her because she was slightly crazy and the best
of fun. When friends and family welcomed new babies into their lives, she would be there with beautiful hand painted pictures to celebrate the arrival of the new born.
Now she is the mother of three - the
Rampaging Rascal and the Twinkles, Tala and Lilia - and all because she wouldn't give up but pursued her dream of motherhood through the most traumatic of times. She is my daughter so you might say I am biased - but I respect and admire her so much for the
way she has handled the hard times and is now revelling in the Merry Mayhem of the present.
I will always remember the day she told us that she was expecting a baby. We were all together on a family holiday
in Devon and had just finished the first course of our dinner when she handed me a small present. The Darling Daughter in Law apparently guessed what this was - but it would never have entered my head. Inside the package, a tiny photo frame, the exact match
of the frames in which I keep the first photos of all my grandchildren. I still didn't cotton on till she explained that I would have to wait for a photo - until her baby was born.
I expect you can imagine
the scene. Suffice to say that the Usher Gene went into overdrive as everyone hugged everybody else and cried. It was ages before we all settled down at the table again for our dessert.
That was when the mum-to-be
picked up the serving spoon and asked: "Shall I be mother?!" Cue more tears.
Happy Mothering Sunday to mothers everywhere. I, for one - and I know the same can be said of the Middle of the Darling Daughters
- will never, ever take it for granted how lucky I am.
I owe that much to those for whom this hasn't been a happy day.