I love my Mum. She has been my greatest supporter, my confidante, my perspective provider, a travel mate, and has put up with me for many decades. She, along with my father before he passed away, has raised four independent, strong-minded, and at-times frustrating kids. And while we are all now middle-aged, I have been reminded about her capacity to still take care of us as much as we want to take care of her.
I believe that growing up is about learning from mistakes, seeking role models, and experiencing life. It is also important to have strong parameters set along the way. While we may have (and sometimes still do) balked at our parents’ efforts to raise us, in hindsight it becomes clear that most often, the parameters they set were meant as safety nets woven together with care, best intentions, and hope for the future.
Just over four weeks ago, I returned early from an international holiday. I immediately self-quarantined and was very fortunate to have family who could assist with provisions. My sister dropped a few gloves and a mask off outside my place, and my brother kindly did a grocery shop for me. My mother, who I speak to at least a couple of times a day, kept articulating that she wanted to help.
Now, I know that my mother reads my blog so, suffice to say, she is a few decades older than me. As you might imagine, my siblings and I were, and continue to be, concerned about her heading out to pick things up or drop things off. My mother, a self-sufficient, determined woman like the children she raised, was clearly irritated with us setting parameters for her. Because my siblings and I love Mum, we will always worry even if she is being careful and mindful of the importance of physically distancing.
Having said that, like every time in my life, Mum’s actions have recently reminded me of a vital lesson: helping others is important and it feels good. It allows us to feel that we are contributing to making things better for others.
On the weekend, I posted this tweet with a picture of a container of soup Mum had left on her door step for me knowing that I would be dropping off her papers as I do each Saturday morning. It reminded me that while we all do well with parameters in place, we need to be considerate of the needs we all have.
As I wrote in the tweet, “My Mum is still taking care of us as much as we are taking care of her.”