I had planned in the week that marks 2 years since my Mum passed away to post up the eulogy that I wrote for her. When she died, I set up a memorial site to her. On her anniversary, they sent me a message which led me to revisit and read the kind words left by family and friends along with the eulogy itself.
However, having read the school memories over at The Alexander Residence blog who came up with the Little Legacies idea in the first place, I am going with that theme.
I remember Mum taking me to nursery where we actually really did have a teacher with a bun in her hair called Miss Bun. On the way back, we would stop and feed horses. We would call at Halfords which was the local newsagent and I imagine I was bought sweets. One embarrassing incident was when Mum would not stop chatting to Mrs Halford and I was going “Mum, Mum, MUM!” all to no avail. I peed all over the shop’s floor. Mum was a great talker. She would talk to everyone and anyone. She was never phased by striking up a conversation whereas I still find that really difficult to do. Often I would be embarrassed and think “Mum, they really don’t want you talking to them”. Mind you, she had lots of friends and I don’t which says a lot in itself.
I remember my Mum at the school gates and she was the same age as most of the Grandmas it seemed. She was an “older mum” having adopted me at the age of 42. I am 42 now so how she found the energy I do not know having already brought up two boys. The good side of this situation was that Mum knew a lot of family secrets about the people I was at school with. She had style though again not like me. I remember a male friend saying I must be lying when I said just how old she was. Old at 42!
Later I went on the school bus. One day, I was punched in the stomach. Mum was fiercely protective so this one incident led to her persuading Dad to move house so I could walk to school. She was one for extreme reactions. I guess I am like her in that.
When a teacher sussed that I had a bit of a brain, she told my Mum that I had a very high IQ. (Yes, dear readers, I know nobody would guess that now). Mum had no idea what an IQ was so said something like “That’s nice Mrs Plachinski” and scurried off. Mum was not stupid, she just had not had the education or life to know about these things.
When official jobs came up like attending parents’ evenings or becoming a Governor, Mum would let Dad take the lead probably through a lack of self-belief. It winds me up that even though I have the education and life experiences that she did not, I find myself doing the same thing sometimes, writing myself off unecessarily.
So Mum largely avoided coming into secondary school. Maybe this was because she had once worked as a dinner lady there. I don’t know really. One time, she did come in as she had lost her house key so wanted mine. I had started my period but had bottled telling her. We had this coded conversation where she had clearly worked it out and was asking me and I was saying yes with a look on my face that said “If you embarrass me by saying anything, I will kill you”.
The sequel to this story is that she insisted on sending my Dad to buy a cake to celebrate the day “your daughter became a woman”. I was all of 13 years of age. After she died, my Auntie told me that the same day Mum phoned the entire family to announce my first period. My Auntie laughed saying Mum was always like that, always announcing every little milestone and achievement as if I was the first child to ever reach them.
Some women do that and struggle to tell the person themselves. I never felt that I measured up well enough for my Mum. As I get older, I realise that I probably did but she just did not always have the words to tell me.
Oh well, there are my memories of Mum and school.