Mother's Little Helper

Maybe it's just a daughter's job to piss off her mother. - Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

I already know one thing for certain before I even start writing the bulk of this post.

I am in deep, deep guano for the photo I have used. Which is brilliant, because what I wanted to write about is a tribute to my beautiful, forbearing mother - Big P, and her boundless patience, on today, the Day of the Mumsy. I want to express just how much this woman, like a koala, bears, when it comes to the vagaries of her delightful family - namely the Kennebec, the Artist Formerly Known by A Name Which Is No Longer Politically Correct (my brother) - and me.

Her only daughter. Her pride (?) and joy (double question marks, followed by ferocious glugging of non-alcoholic beverages, which P pretends are booze in the vague hope that she can wipe out memories of things like the state of my bedroom in my teenage years).

Me. Variously referred to over the years as facetious, obstreperous, a disgusting little pig (with respect to the state of my bedroom), and on one memorable occasion, a word that sounds like witch, but isn't.

Which may I add was thoroughly deserved, and has probably been said in my darling Mama's head on a weekly basis, and again not without fair reason.

For a woman who really doesn't swear, what can I say?

You seriously dipped out. Between Dad's 'bloody hells' and my brother and myself's absolutely foul mouthed imprecations, the world has really not been kind to a woman of quite graceful manners. I mean, I attempted to pretend that you had some kind of influence on me, but soon enough the truth was out.

I have a mouth on me like, as you are wont to say, a 'very old and disgusting trooper' so we shall just acknowledge that you stay well away when I am watching any form of sport and leave it at that.

This past year has not been kind to our family. It has in fact been much like that word I referred to earlier.

A bit of a witch.

As usual though, you have handled everything thrown at you - deaths, despair, a bit more despair, various diagnoses, some more despair, and just for the hell of it, some despair - with your customary aplomb. A little bit less humour? Maybe. But God almighty, it's been a five star shocker hasn't it Mum? Let's not mince words. Sometimes for your sake I wish you drank so that you had a nice alcoholic cushion to fall back into. But no. For you, the year has been faced clear eyed and head on.

You make me laugh, P. Sometimes your unwavering strength makes me cry, and even want to scream because I just don't have it, and I feel weak beside you because of it.

You are an amazing mother. You are an amazing partner to my father. You are the backbone, the steel spine of this family, and I know that often we forget to tell you this; sometimes we even forget to tell you the most important thing of all, because you are too busy telling us with your actions.

We love you.

You rock like a rocky thing, Mumsy.

Just don't thump me for putting dodgy photos of you halfway around the world.