Letter to my mother

Originally appeared on child mags blog.

Dear Mum,

You told me a story of myself as a three year old, recently. We were staying at a hotel in Terrigal and you were unpacking. You commented on the ants crawling down the walls.

“I’ve already called the man,” I said.

“What man?”

“The man at the desk, he’s coming to fix the ants.”

Soon after, the hotel maintenance man came with a spray can and sorted out the ant problem. You are the ultimate problem fixer, ‘action woman’, and you were proud. I am my mother’s daughter.

You have the coolest stories from your youth, from backpacking around the world to interviewing movie stars. At 60 years old, you say you still feel young and that life gets better with age and I believe you.

You taught me that it’s okay to cry, to be sensitive in a hardened world. When I was little, I’d look up from my dance concert or school award ceremony to see you crying proud tears and it made me beam. Now, we both cry easily during poignant speeches and sad movies.

We are of the same ilk, but so different at the same time. I live for the ocean and you won’t go past your knees. Your wardrobe is colour-coordinated and mine is often in a heap on the floor. You aim for routine and I live for spontaneity.

I spent my teen years trying to be different from you and now I embrace the similarities. I inherited your mannerisms and penchant for black and white stripes. I caught your wanderlust and love of champagne. My identity is wrapped up in yours. 

I love your obsession with the weather: “Did you know that today is the hottest March day in 12 years?” I love that your husband is as climate-crazy as you are and how he bought you 20 roses, one for each year of your future together. I love your equal fascination with reality TV shows and books about neuroscience. I love that we speak on the phone every single day, and how you are always the first person I call with my news – good or bad.

Last weekend, I stayed at your house for a night and you got cranky at me for not using a bathmat after my shower. My rebellions are the same as always: minor and (mostly) unintentional.

At 27, our  ‘mother-daughter’ days are getting more rare and more precious. We spent our day eating yum cha and buying black and white clothing. You were pouring the green tea and I was halving the pork bun when I realised there was nowhere I’d rather be.

Love, always,

Mel x

letter to my mother

letter to my mother

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