September 26, 2012


Today is my mum's birthday. Happy Birthday, Mum.

It's curious with people like your parents, who you spend so much time with over the years, how many things float around unsaid. Sure, your parents say a lot of things to you - that's their job; they teach you about the world, show you when you've gone wrong, answer you're increasingly difficult to answer questions. But, at least in my case (I'm quite a quiet and reserved individual, despite what my online persona might betray), there hasn't really been a lot said in return. I don't tend to say what's on my mind, mostly because I assume that it's obvious already and saying obvious things like, 'gosh, it's hot', are reserved for people you don't know well enough to enjoy comfortable silences with.

My mum is awesome.

Most people who have met my mum know this. Certainly people I know that have been lucky enough to meet her have told me how awesome she is, as if I didn't know. I wonder if she knows.

My mum's youth is packed with enough stories to make a boxset of indie movies. I won't embarrass her by retelling them here, but you might not even believe some of them if I told you. I've still got my work cut out for me to catch up with all the adventuring she undertook by her mid twenties. Even the story of how my parents got together reads like a script for Only Fools and Horses. If you run into her you should buy her a (non-alcoholic) drink and ask her about it. She's quite the storyteller.

I said you might not believe some of the her stories, but that's not because she's lost any of that sparkle in her middle-age. Sure, my parents are at the end of their mortgage with a grown up son and have lived in the same house for 30 years. But have you seen my mum's jacket that's made entirely out of sequins? Have you seen her ever-growing collection of animated, musical teddies? Have you seen her cry with laughter at novelty pens? Have you been with her to see ever Harry Potter film on opening day? Have you seen her Christmas earrings that flash? You really should. Just don't ask her to tell her favourite joke. It's... it's terrible. She told it to my friends about 12 years ago and they still bring it up, shrug their shoulders and say, 'I don't get it,' and burst out laughing.

As a mother to me, she balanced being an adult and 'fun' with what seemed like very little effort at all, teaching me and guiding me but also just going out for frivolity's sake. In a way, our relationship has the same kind of structure as it always has - she's a mother and a friend. We still go out to the cinema together, cause it's nice to. But she's still and always has stupidly supportive of me, endlessly patient, kind, and genorous while standing firm when she thinks I need a kick up the arse, which I often do.

It's weird: I've known this about Mum forever, but haven't really said it, because it just seems obvious. But maybe it isn't. And even if it is, it probably still needs saying every so often.

By the way, my mum is alive. I know this reads a bit like a eulogy, now that I think about it, but then again, Mum always wanted to have her funeral before she died because she didn't want to miss it. You should totally come to my mum's funeral, by the way. She's got it all planned out, it's going to be amazing.

Anyway. Happy Birthday, Mum, was what I was trying to say.