Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Or as I prefer to call it (traditionalist that I am) Mothering Sunday.
day when, in years gone by, servant girls were given the day off to visit their mothers, walking through woodland and picking bunches of wild flowers for their loved one along the way. Or so the legend goes. I’m not sure anything like this happens these
days - but there are flowers aplenty in the local Co-op (other supermarkets are doubtless similarly in flower) and there’s a queue outside the florist which is shut but open for business, if you know what I mean. I doubt many live near enough to walk,
either; three cars have just pulled up outside our house and three grown-up children have emerged, one from each car, carrying flowers and gifts as they head, a merry gang, towards the house on the corner. I am turning a blind eye, obviously...
When my dear mum was alive, Mothering Sunday was all about her as far as I was concerned. I was, however, spectacularly poor at remembering to book a place to eat out on
the Big Day. One year, I admit shamefacedly, the only place I could find with a free table was McDonalds; on another occasion I could only book the early sitting at a local eaterie - I’m pretty sure it was the first time in her life that my poor Mum
found herself queuing outside a pub for it to open...
There have been some memorable occasions, a prime example eight years ago when the Middle of the Darling
Daughters - a new mum after many years of longing for motherhood - was determined to celebrate with family despite her little son being only days old. Off she went to Costco to gather the necessary food and drink with me trailing behind her beseeching
her, (without success) to maybe sit down and have a rest. I, it must be remembered, gave birth at a time when new mothers were expected to rest up for ten days afterwards. That was, it has to be said, one of the most joyous of Mothering Sundays.
Then there was the day we sat down to dinner with several Algerians, relatives of our son-in-law, Rules Is Rules, who politely insisted on clearing the table and washing
up after the first course, not realising there was pudding to come. We took a short trip out onto the Downs where they gleefully gathered up bunches of flowers (presumably left by others remembering their mums) and offering them to me. I felt like their substitute
Mum for the Day though explaining why I couldn't accept their floral tributes was a trifle tricky.
This year will probably be the first ever Mothering Sunday when
I haven’t had the company of at least one of my Foursome. That’s Life in Lockdown for all of us, isn’t it? I haven’t been forgotten, however - a fella fresh from the Amazon Jungle delivered a hamper containing the wherewithal for a
rather special Afternoon Tea. Sultana scones, individual jars of clotted cream from Devon, Scottish shortbread from Deeside, a slab of home-made fudge from Deeping St James, classic English tea bags and extra jammy raspberry jam made to a special secret recipe
by one Mrs Darlington of Crewe. It was made with love, that jam - it says so on the label. What a truly wonderful surprise! Plus I have cards to open in the morning (the postman knocked on the door to deliver them: “I didn’t want to bend them!”
he explained) and we have moved our customary Family Zoom from Saturday to Sunday so that I can see everyone, so far away but so, well, near.
delights in this annual festival. For those mourning a much-loved mother, for those longing for motherhood, for those mothers with empty arms who have lost a beloved child - my thoughts are with you. Please forgive me, and every mother who loves to remember
- and to be remembered.