Monday, 27 April 2009

Click Click Click

I have very few memories of my mother.

The trauma of her death at a young age has wiped a lot of my early memory and kept a lot of memories I’d rather have lost.

I was 7 when she was diagnosed with cancer and 9 when she died.

I have memories of my childhood … hundreds … but not many with her in them.

I have boxes and albums stuffed with photos. I often look through them and it can trigger memories of an event but not of the interaction we shared, normal everyday moments shared between a mother and child. The kind of moments I share with my children that I know I shared with her but have no recollection of.

A goodnight kiss, snuggling up for a bedtime story, holding hands as we walk down the street … all gone in the dust of death.

I have only two very different memories that have stayed.

Memory 1

We were at a neighbour’s house. I was playing with my friends; the adults were all chatting and laughing in the living room. It must have been a party of sorts because there were a lot of people there. We were running up and down the stairs, racing round the house. It was late, I was tired and hot and I went to my mum for a cuddle. She sat me on her knee; she lifted my long hair up and blew cold air on my neck to cool me down, breaking off to laugh with her friends. We sat like that for a long time, together.

It is a tender moment that I treasure.

Memory 2

Driving somewhere, just the two of us, Mum and me. I was sat in the backseat. I had a plastic toy gun which made a click noise when the trigger was pulled. Cheap plastic against cheap plastic; Click, Click, Click.

I realised that this noise, although not annoying to me, was grating to my mum. I evidently clicked one too many times because I was told in no uncertain terms that if I didn’t stop it would be going out of the car window. I must have weighed up the seriousness of her threat before … CLICK.

Without saying a word, and still driving, she removed the gun from my hand, wound down the window and threw it, wound up her window and continued on our journey as if nothing had happened.

I have a lot of memories of my father’s parenting which was fairly laid back unless I crossed the line in which case I knew about it.

I often think about the way I parent my own children. On a bad day I am a ‘show no mercy’ gun slinger and on a good day I am a laid back tender neck blower.

I need to learn how to be a mixture of gun slinger and laid back tender neck blower all the time!

Originally posted on Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy? last year


  1. Balance is good. Unfortunately, I have not achieved it.

  2. I don't think it's possible for anyone to achieve that balance all the time...We may strive to do our best, but the ups and downs are what help us to learn.

    Lovely memory of your Mum blowing on your neck btw x

  3. I'm so glad I noticed this other blog of yours. We all have a dark and light side, a more public and a more private side. The Yin and the Yang. You have this with your two blogs. I have both sides of me mixed up in one (currently).

    These moments you recall are so very precious: they would be if your mother were still alive, but so much more so that she is not. I mourn for your loss at such a tender young age and cannot help but think of my own daughters and how it would be if they lost me - and what I would be missing out on too. I think a lot how these early, intense days of motherhood, when they are young, are largely forgotten in their older years. All those tiny inconsequential moments in time, the small gestures such as a hand squeeze on the walk to school, or the blowing on the neck that you describe. Can any of us remember much before we were ten? Not many people can. Just fleeting, albeit trememdously strong, memories like you describe here. I am very moved.

  4. I threw a ball out of the car once when my son didn't stop tossing it around and I found it dangerous - not without a warning, though.

    My mom is still with us, but I just remember her presence, how nice it was to me as a child to have her around, the cuddling on her knees... The funny part is, even as a child (but not very young), I remembered my DAD tucking me in, even though it was usually my mom.

    It is not the amount of memories, it is the special feeling they give us. One or two can be plenty. Enjoy your kids' childhood and their company!

  5. Enjoy the moment.
    There's only one memory every child needs - his/her mother's face, hugs and kisses!

    Have a great week!
    Keep smiling=D

  6. this is terribly moving - I've read the lot. I came over here because you went to Disney (yes?) with my friend Jane and clicked on this one, really by mistake, I thought I'd be finding one redolent of the Barbie head which is your avatar. I'm glad I found this one, although it's almost too sad. thank you though. (oh and had to come back to say that word verif has gone and spoiled it all by giving me "poxied"! the rotter.)

  7. what a lovely moving blog.