Dear Mum

Pair of Northern Mockingbird ChicksWe’re not the sort of family that does sentiment. Love – yes, in spades –  but sentiment: soft toys, Hallmark cards and swirly pink lettering – no. Definitely not.

Half-hugs and easy laughter, ping-pong banter and shared stories.  That’s our language:

“You’re not so bad.” (“I love you.  I’m proud of you.”)

You’re not so bad yourself.”  (“I love you too.”)

Sometimes though, it’s good to say more.  To put words to the layers, or at least, to try.


You brought me, screaming, into the world. Nine months, you carried me and cared for me and fed and sheltered me –

and then –

another 37 years. You might not know it, but I think you’ll always carry me.


You taught me what it means

to be a woman

to give of yourself and not ask for it back.

to be weak, yet to risk.

to feel – fully – and not run.

to live in the world, and to love it – but not too much.


For years I’ve watched you.  And you’ve taught me

to mend what’s been torn

to fall – and then get up.

to scramble an egg

to love a man

to draw lines. And then cross them.


You made me – and you gave me the place where I fit. A harbour, bright against the storm. A home.

A shape and a sense: of the world, of myself. Of what matters; and what I need to let go.


I’m still learning from you, mum. I’ll never stop.

And if I haven’t bought you a pink swirly card

with poems and hearts

it’s not that I don’t love you.

It’s that they don’t say enough.





5 thoughts on “Dear Mum

  1. Lovely message! For a non pink swirly message you have done a brilliant job at expressing your appreciation…

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