This is an ode to you. A collective of thank you's and apologies, of anecdotes and tales that solely exist between the two of us.
I was planning on buying you a gift, but I'm fed up of materialism. I was planning on painting a picture of us both, but painting is not a great strength of mine. I was planning on creating some 'chore' tokens, but Lucy beat me to it.
And so here I am, back carving my way with the 26 letters of the alphabet. My solace, my comforts. 26 letters that have formed the foundations of our intricate bond. 5 letters of which I first called you, Mummy. 8 letters of which I should say more, I love you, and thank you.
Do those brief 8 letters even begin to cover the vastness of my gratitude, my eternal bank of affection? No matter how many combinations of letters and words I may formulate, there is not a combination as beautifully complex as the relationship between mother and daughter. We argue, we laugh. We dance, we battle. We smile, we frown. But we're daughter and mother, mother and daughter, forever.
I know I am at a difficult age, or have been, for the past few years. Adolescence has turned me from the sweet, loving 8 year old I was, into a sleep-deprived, passive aggressive and self-centred shell of a person. I am too heavily influenced my surroundings, too heavily submerged in a book or too heavily focused on school that I forget to step back and appreciate the foundations of my existence, you.
I am not the sweet eight year old I once was. No longer do I chase for the swings or wear dungarees and pink K-Swiss. I am neither the submissive ten year old I once. It has been a while since I woke you up in the night to hug away the fear my regular nightmares brought. Nor am I the grouchy 13 year old I once was. The stairs must be taking a well-deserved break from my raging pre-adolescent stomping fits.
But I am Lauryn. And I am still the first born of yours, that I once was, that I am now. As I watch the sky turn from cloudy grey to dusty pink to inky black, memories and emotions forgotten with the turbulence of daily life are falling into place in my mind from a far-off void like the dark curtain of evening falling across the sky, resolute.
Memories of the times when you were willingly (metaphorically) dragged from an abundant of charity shops and selflessly searched every children's book shelf for more tattered Enid Blyton copies. Of the times when you made lunch for the 15 friends I bought back into the garden to go on the trampoline, and when you gave us the pens to personalise the playhouse with our 'club' name. Of the time when you did not leave my side when I was ill in hospital in year five, of how you brought in my teddies and best pyjamas and held my hand in one of your hands and the sick bowl in the other. Of when you shut your finger in the car door and still drove us home, or when you accidentally sliced your hand with a knife when making a picnic but did not back out of your plans of taking us all to the zoo. Of the time when I froze the milk under your cereal on April fools day. Of the times when we've searched through the hundreds of photos stored above your bed, that you've never put into albums, and talked for hours about the story behind each one. Of the times when we've chased each other up the stairs mid-argument, but by the time we reach the top we're laughing at how unfit we both are. Of the times when we've both acted foolish: I with the light switch and hoover, and you with my need for paper for school, and of how we look back on these shameful moments in time and share a slight smile of loving affection between us.
We can communicate with a slight dance of the eyes, or Mexican wave of the eyebrows - with a single look we share a thousand unsaid words: whether that be a stern look if I ever acted up, or the look we each make when something not quite right happens: jack recalling his (over-exaggerated) dreams or Dad trying to prove us wrong - we make quite the team, you and I.
You've just appeared in my room, as I write this, to put away my washing. You pulled down my blind for me and made sure I was okay. I should have paid more attention to you, rather than stare at this screen. Just know that for your small acts of unpolished, innate kindness, I am eternally grateful. You are a wonderful person.
You're strong, self-assured and beautiful in your own skin. I know you moan about your age, but with each passing year we're learning together that our bodies are just our shells: it's our souls and minds that count, and you have an incredibly beautiful soul. You are a graceful, kind and considerate collection of stardust atoms and meta-physical thoughts. You give so much to other people and savour little for yourself. You are overly liberal with mundane acts of love: keeping us clothed, fed and happy. Making me a tea for when I get home from school each day. Organising us so that we never have to worry. You're a very good mother, I can assure you of that.
But today is YOUR day. Kick back, relax, and go with what we have planned for you. Refrain from undertaking the mundane. You deserve one day of peace, a day to shower yourself in your own kindness and love and let this torrent of self-love awash every sense into your body until you feel at one with pure, deserved, bliss.
You're very, very, special to me, Mum. Thank you for every single moment you've given to spending with me.
Happy Mother's Day, I love you x