My gran once said…

When I was living with my gran, when my mum and I were estranged by alcohol and hate, my gran said this thing.

“You must never hate your mother. You must always love your mother. She’s the only one you’ll ever have and one day, when you’re a parent you’ll remember this”

My gran was a brilliant, clever and funny person but I didn’t understand that thing she said. One doesn’t always have to and, what does love mean anyway?

She also told me that pizza’s were evil, and all black and white films, and all people who enjoyed watching them, were ‘sublimely stupid.’

She also told me this. It’s terribly important she said. I was 19 and so I didn’t realise how important it was until February 13th 2009.

‘You can’t buy a book. You can’t get an instructor. You can’t learn how to be a parent. A mum or a dad. No one teaches you. All advice you ever hear should be thrown out the window.

You have to feel. It’s hard. It’s tough and it’s tiring. It’ll be with you all your life. Every day you learn something from your children and every day you learn something about yourself. Being a parent is all about instinct. When they’re ill, you’ll know. When they’re tired, you’ll know. When they’re hating you and fighting everything you do, you’ll know, somehow,  that you are doing the right thing and you will all get through. And if you get it right, then one day, when you’re old and grey and less mobile than you used to be, one of them will turn up at your door and say ‘Hi. I just wanted to see you.’ You’ll make them a cup of tea, have a chat, and they’ll go home to their family. And you’ll sleep soundly that night.’

My gran died in 1997, so obviously this is not a verbatim recollection. She was a wise woman and one that accepted people for who they were, not for what they ought to be.

You’ve got to love your mum. She’s the only one you’ll ever have.

That’s not advice. That’s science.

Thanks for reading.

First published April 28th, 2012

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