This Mothers Day, I want to send big love to my mum Laraine (Maxie) and Gaga to our Captain Morgan.
She’s a devoted mum to me and Matthew, a caring mum-in-law to my Gorgeous and Matt’s wife Kate, a hugely fun Gaga or Granny, and from the amount of time we now enjoy in each other’s company, we’re the best of friends too.
Happy Mother’s Day, mum.
Here’s a few lessons this inimitable character has taught me.
1. You can never have too much animal print.
It’s true too. Leopard print is the new black, and it works on your bag, your shoes, your belt, your pants, top, scarf, dress - not usually at the same time but I’m open to suggestions. I’d like a car with it printed on the outside (seriously). Such is our endless love for the print of the animal. It just works.
2. If your child needs you, be there for them. Same goes for your grandkids.
I’m lucky to have a mum who shows all the many ways ‘above and beyond’ to show you care. She’ll warm up breakfast in winter, bring cold cloths in summer, cook your favourite meal (again and again), spend her money on all manner of appliances, clothes and more, even sand down and revarnish furniture needing TLC. Oh, and she’s a dab hand with an overflowing laundry basket.
3. Buy Australian.
I’m in the process of learning to try and buy Australian and this is something Mum has been banging on about forever. About as long as Dick Smith, except she doesn’t go and give all her tinned beetroot away at popular Sydney beaches to make the point.
4. Furthermore, drink Australian sparkling.
While French champagne is the epitome of chic for some, Mum is always much more impressed with the Australian variety to enjoy. It’s part of her Australian-made crusade but also she’s not all that posh about labels, which extends to her love of consuming local bubbly.
5. Talk to people. More often than not, you’ll meet someone interesting.
From caravan parks to the football game, at the markets or the dog oval to people on the street and up at the shops, a day out with Mum always involves random conversations with people you don’t know on just about anything. It’s more fun talking to people than ignoring them, and while I used to think it was embarrassing (oh, those teenage years) now I’m the same. Life’s more fun with a bit of a chat.
7. A winning footy team is a joy. A losing footy team needs your support.
God, she’s supported the Sydney Swans for decades, going at day and night, in rain or shine, from wooden-spooners to Grand Finalists, sitting in Bay 29 with the same people as long as I remember. She knows just about everyone in her area, from Sister Kath up the back to Margie and her many kids who sits just behind. She’s even recruited a handful of her own friends to become members, and it’s a real tradition. Wait until our kids are old enough to play AusKick at half time…
8. Dancing is infinitely more fun if you wave your arms around and holler at the same time.
Dancing is a thing of fun, joy, and much noise-making. There can be comical pelvic thrusts, there can be attempts at krumping, there can be booty-shaking, there can be fingers jutting into the air to the beat, and there absolutely must be sporadic high-pitched noises to emphasise the quality and enthusiasm of the dance moves. A must for parties, also works well with small children.
9. Daughters are both expensive and a liability. But it’s good to have one.
Mum has always said she’s thrilled she had Matthew as a son, as they simply couldn’t afford another daughter (subtext: like me). Dad has always said to Chris that I’m a god-damn liability (including at the first dinner they met) and that once married, I was absolutely non-returnable. Despite the digs, we all have fun together, and life’s pretty damn good.
Happy Mothers Day to all the mums, mums-in-law, Grans, Nannas, Gagas out there. We couldn’t do it without you.