The Letter

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Don’t ask for my secrets
And I won’t tell you lies.

Don’t look in my eyes
There is no surprise.

You birthed me, you held me
And what do you see?

A rival? A victim?
You took everything.
What’s more – I let you.

I didn’t know – how could I see?
Dead from your past
You poisoned me.

The one who should love me
Above all other –
Don’t look at me and expect
“Mother.”

‘You’ll be a Man, my son!” – Thank you Mr. R. Kipling for your exceedingly good poem…

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I miss my little boy. Not my son. He’s right here with me now. I mean I miss the little boy he was, the three year old who would sleep beside me in my bed, curled against my back after a bad dream, little feet on the backs of my knees. I miss his soft little boy hands, holding mine trustingly as we cross roads. His innocent joy and wonder at the world around him, the serious conversations he would have with my mother’s dog, the special smile as my cat came to him for strokes. Choosing what he would wear for morning and helping him put it on, showing him how zips, buttons and those monsters of difficulty, socks, work.

I miss the days of “Mummy will make it better” – I could then, there were simpler problems with easier solutions. Explaining division in Maths:

Look, here’s ten sweets… make sure you and Mummy have the same number of sweets each.” The pleasure in your face as you realised you could do this. For ever answering the question ‘Why?’ and not minding as I saw in your eyes the cogs turning, paths and connections forming, thought processes linking as you devised your own ideas and views.

Proud that I can learn from you, not just how to handle 21st century technology, but your philosophies on life and proud that I have a viewing window as I see your adult character develop. I hope I have been a good mother. I hope that I gave you some good ideas and morals that will see you as a confident citizen of the world in the 21st century. You have your own friends and mentors now, good people, honourable people; you have learned emotional intelligence and moral confidence, to be your own man and make your own place in the world.

My son, who is now an almost-man, getting ready to leave my home, but not my mother-love. I am sad, but it is as it should it be and I will see you on your way with a smile and a kiss, knowing that you remain a child of my heart while you walk your own path. 

IMG_6948This is Gino Baboo, my son’s favourite toy since he was three years old… showing signs of wear and tear but ready to go at a moment’s notice…

Kindness

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I don’t do unkindness. Not now. Not anymore. There was too much of it in my earlier life and I reached a point where I felt ill with it… like eating too many greasy chips. I thought I would hate to make anyone else feel as I did and had a quick prod of the old emotions – as you do – to see what I could do to feel better.

Kindness. I am not speaking about dancing around scattering glitter and flowers, and letting people liberties with you. Just little things. Like the opening of a door for someone; a pleasant smile and a ‘thank you’ can make all the difference to a day and make you feel that it is all worthwhile.

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Un-kindness is unnecessary and very rarely justified. I saw something that made me so sad the other day as I was dusting in my son’s bedroom. I had the window open, and we overlook a park. A little boy, only about three, was walking with his mother who was on her phone and pushing a pushchair. He had some sweets, but dropped them and started to cry. Instead of comforting him, or saying:

Never mind, we’ll get you some more,” the woman cuffed him across the top of his head and shouted:

Now look what you’ve done, you little tw**! Well that’s it, you’re not getting any more!”

What was the point of that? How cruel and unkind a response to an unfortunate accident. The little boy wanted his sweets, he didn’t throw them away in temper, he wasn’t misbehaving. As I watched from the bedroom window, the mother seized the little boy and dragged him away, still sobbing miserably.

What did the child learn from that? That his earliest disappointments in life will come from his mother? Not a lesson I would ever want my sons to learn. That it’s all right to hit out in temper at someone who’s already upset? Or hey, life’s a bitch and inevitably something worse will happen when you’re already hurting?

Really, it wouldn’t have taken much just to comfort the little boy, or even say:

“Well, we can’t go back to the shop now, let’s go home and watch television and you can have some more sweets tomorrow.”

IMG_6447 (2).JPGA pink rose, traditionally associated with kindness, love and gentleness

The ‘un’ kindness of the whole incident struck me as sad and unnecessary. However, I’m not judging the mother, perhaps she had a bad day… but there is always room for kindness, and a grateful smile from her little boy could have been her reward if the whole scenario had played out differently.

So. As I said previously, there’s no need to be unrealistic about the kindness you bring to the world, just think about what you do. You’ll feel better in yourself and you will have a better response from the people you meet. And, here’s a thought, be kind to yourself too. Give yourself a break.

(Thank you to Iman Refaat of Perceptions for inspiring this post and making me think about kindness. She’s a lovely person, check out her blog for inspiration, positivity and encouragement.) 

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All featured crystals are examples of Rose Quartz, my favourite crystal. It is linked to the heart chakra and helps to promote love, compassion and empathy.

Moss Agate and Motherhood

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There’s some inexplicable comfort in knowing your Mum will do something, like ironing or cooking, for you. Just because she’s your Mum.”

These lovely words were left as part of a comment on one of my earlier posts, and they set me to thinking about the nature of motherhood. I, myself, am mother to two boys-nearly men at 16 and 21-and four feline daughters. Not quite sure what the budgie regards me as – housekeeper perhaps? In a way, my job is nearly done as far as my sons are concerned. I have raised them as best I know how to be decent human beings, fit to be inhabitants of this world in the 21st century. They are both capable nearly-men and yet I know they will remain bound to me by the ties of mother-love, not just the dutiful ‘phone call or email, but by the memories of things past…

Teaching them how to tie their shoelaces and getting frustrated because I couldn’t do it…Laughing uncontrollably as my older son fell in a puddle when he was about 2, and it turned out to be deeper than he thought; marvelling at my younger son’s manipulation of the English language to make it express what he wanted, “cutting nose” for “beak” – isn’t that great?! My mother sneered as I carefully sliced my older son’s tomato and cut my younger’s into quarters the way they prefer – yet she made sure I didn’t have too many chips and that the peas didn’t touch the tomato sauce.

Motherhood is a continuous process of give and take. I delight in learning something I didn’t know from my children and I appreciate it when they pass me things from shelves I can’t reach; the same way my older son appreciates my re-stocking of his toiletries, unasked, or my younger, the carefully prepared vegetarian packed lunch he takes to college every day.

Likewise with animals. The love between an animal and its owner is like that between a parent and child. My cats are my little girls and as such I make sure they have everything they need since they depend on me and I am responsible for every aspect of their well-being. This obviously ranges from fresh food and water to trips to the vet for boosters and worming tablets. In return, my cats love me. At least I think they do…

I draw love and comfort from them and reassurance. Yet they are all individuals, requiring different aspects of love from me. When Charlie is scared, it’s me she wants, not Daddy. When she’s tired, it’s my knee she wants to sit on so she can knead my jumper, purring herself a lullaby. They’re all Mummy’s girls really.

Moss 6Charlie having Mummy cuddles

Trying to go out shopping is difficult as I am generally accompanied by two or three cats running along beside me:

Hey wait! We can help! We checked price comparison websites for you!”

So I have to go back, make sure they understand cats really can’t go shopping and as I round the corner of the road I can hear Ting’s siren wails:

Naaaoooohhh! Don’t goooooo! Pleeeaase!”

Moss 7Ting doing a spot of creative gardening…

I ring my partner when I get off the bus to come home and generally two or three of the girls will come running to meet me:

You’re back! I thought you were never coming home!”

One day, all four came running to meet me and a little boy riding past on his scooter said wonderingly:

Look at all those cats!”

Another time, I counted three black cats, a Siamese and a tabby running towards me…an extra stray black cat caught up in the joy of the moment!

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Moss 5Just the two black cats, Lily and Tooty…

As I write, I have Moss Agate in my pocket: not unsurprisingly, this stone is strongly connected to Mother Nature, and is said to be useful to midwives, decreasing pain and ensuring a good delivery. A typical interpretation of this stone is that it can refresh the soul and help you see the beauty in everything, reducing sensitivity to the weather and environmental pollutants. It is another stone of abundance and can help people access and channel intuitive energy. Moss Agate can help with self esteem issues and strengthen beneficial personality traits. It’s a happy stone promoting new beginnings and as such is useful for those who work both in agriculture and midwifery, linking back to Mother Nature and her endless cycle of death and rebirth.

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I have two pieces, a pale greenish grey one with patches of white. When my son gave me this piece, the Bering Sea entered my mind, the cold grey waves topped with crests of white, another example of Nature’s inexorability. My other piece is greener, with threads of white and dark green running through it like vines. Amazon rainforest, lungs of the Earth. I generally use these pieces as I write as Moss Agate is a creative stone, promoting self-expression and communication, another little conduit to Mother Nature and the Earth.

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I draw inspiration from my cats, another reward of being their mother. My younger son, when he was little, once referred to me as “she” without explaining who he meant. The person to whom he was speaking delivered this statement, meant as a rebuke:

She? She’s the cat’s mother!”

To which I proudly replied:

Yes. Yes I am…”