Last weekend many mothers around the world were happily (and rightfully) spoilt with gifts and affection in celebration of Mothers Day. Down here in Melbourne it was no different.
Although my mum lives up north and about a two hour flight from me, she still thinks of Mothers Day as a bigger event than her own birthday and so of course she flew down for the occasion. I suspect it’s because she can enjoy all the presents and attention without dealing with the ageing factor, not that she’s added a year to her age since turning 40 anyway (and she definitely gets away with it – hello Polish genes).
So I was lucky enough to spend the whole weekend with my gorgeous mum, and it was so lovely to have so much time together. Sure, she drives me crazy with her ‘I’m always right’ attitude and she sure knows how to stress me out, but I know that she means well so I make every effort and not let it bother me.
I decided to choose a theme for the weekend which was ‘culture’ (Ok, the theme chose us but it sounds like I put more effort into it if it was on purpose). This ‘cultured weekend’ consisted of seeing the French film Delicacy (which was quite good but a little too sad for a Saturday evening), we had dinner at a Polish restaurant ‘Borsch, Vodka & Tears’, and took a nice long walk around the Botanical Gardens and discussed lots of cultural-related issues (well, sort of, does planning our future European family holidays count?). On Sunday we went out for a delicious Mothers Day breakfast and we visited the National Gallery of Victoria to view the NGV International Collection. To finish the weekend off, mum taught me how to cook my favourite polish soup and we ate it for Sunday night dinner before she had to catch a flight back home.
All in all I thought our weekend was rather successful and the theme was very well chosen – I feel more cultured already! The older I get, the closer mum and I become, and scarily enough, the more I see that I really do take after her. This weekend in particular I couldn’t deny some of the similarities – Nature vs. Nurture, who knows which is which.
Example 1. My boyfriend always whinges that I take forever to get out of the car – by the time I grab my handbag, pick up everything that’s fallen out of it, find where the hell I put my phone, fix up my coat, and physically get out of my (very low) car, it’s an effort in itself. Last weekend I discovered that my mother takes twice as long as me! Am I genetically doomed to a life of slow car exits?
Example 2. Mum has the terrible habit of always calling me by her partner’s name, and calling her partner by my name. I don’t see how you could mix up your mid-twenties daughter with your fifty-something year old giant Italian man of a partner. I just don’t see the resemblance, yet it always happens. Lately I find myself calling every single one of my male friends by my boyfriend’s name, and my boyfriend anything but his own name. Work that one out.
Example 3. To put it nicely, mum has always been a bit dramatic, especially when it comes to my health. Every day of my teenage life she would insist on checking that my kidneys were covered before I left the house and if I came home on a chilly day with no jacket then I was definitely going to catch pneumonia! If I sneezed, it was because of that time 3 weeks prior when I walked to the letter box in my socks, and mum had to make me a hot lemon tea with honey STAT to prevent me from DYING from a cold.
I love that she cares, I really do, however I now find myself in the perplexing situation of my friends reminding me just how much of a hypochondriac I am. I guess when I think about it, I have been known to stress out that my ongoing headaches must mean I have a brain tumour, my sore foot from running was actually a very serious stress fracture and I did recently visit my (very understanding) doctor because I was convinced that I had cancer when I felt a tingle under my skin for a week straight. I don’t know when this happened to me, but my mothers fussing seems to have rubbed off on me and now I’m even worse than she ever was! At what point in my life did my mother become the calm one?
Fingers crossed that it’s not all doom and gloom and I get to inherit some of her better qualities too such as her good looks, her non-ageing perfect skin and her good health. And maybe one day have such amazing daughters too 😉
Now mum is back home up north, and whilst some of you may think that a two-hour flight is quite some distance to live from your parents, for me it’s quite comfortable. When we have a bit of distance between us we seem to appreciate one another more and have less petty fights. Flights can be pretty cheap and so we still see one another on a monthly basis, and we chat over the phone and skype a few times a week, so moving to London and being so much further away and in another time zone will definitely be one of the biggest challenges of moving overseas. In saying that, I know that we will still spend lots of time skyping, emailing and chatting together, and when she does come to visit then we will have loads of quality time and some pretty amazing holidays together (we decided last week that we will start with Italy).
So I can’t think of the bad and how much I will miss her (and of course my Dad and even the kitties to boot), I will have to concentrate on all the positive benefits of this instead. I think that I will spend the weekend researching a little more about home sickness and the best ways to avoid it, as I suspect that this is definitely something that I will have to deal with, sooner rather than later.
If anyone has any tips about how to cope with home sickness or just missing your mum in general, please share!
The London New Girl