Columnist: Mama Said with Velvet's Emily Martin
What do I want for Mother’s Day? Well, this year I’d like a full night’s sleep, a massage, something nice for lunch that I didn’t cook myself (and crucially that I don’t also have to wash up).
A tidy house, maybe a little thing with all of our initials on it from Not On The High Street, maybe just a quiet morning in bed drinking coffee and reading a book without anyone needing anything opened, wiped, changed, unravelled, mended, charged, logged into or retrieved from behind the sofa.
All that would be very nice. But I suppose what I really want is stuff that’s a bit harder to sort out. Because I want my children to live on and on, maybe even until they’re 200 years old, please. Possibly even a little older if they get massively into yoga.
With strong beating hearts, fast working minds, big memories and sharp eyesight. And I want every one of those 200 years to be packed in tight, like a sandcastle, absolutely full of all the best things: like those moments when you’re laughing so much you start crying a little bit. Big soft beds. Cheering people up. Holidays. Crusty bread. Swimming in the sea. And great TV that makes you turn to whoever you’re on the sofa with and say, “NO. WAY.”.
I want them to talk to lots of people and remember that if ever they don’t know what to say, they can always ask a question. And I want them to see each meeting as a chance to learn something about someone else’s life because the more people they can get to know and figure out, the more armour they will have.
I want them to make brilliant friends who will tell them the truth but put a good spin on things. Friends who text to check in each morning and who will walk behind them up aeroplane stairs, and beside them as they head out for dinner on their birthdays. Hilarious, lovely pals who will string a great big, bouncy net all around them so that when they fall, or even when they just need to lean, it’s there.
And I want them to both find big, happy, swirling, true love with kind, nice people they can’t wait to talk to every morning and who will see in them as adults what I see in them as children: that they’re the two most special people who ever lived.
I want Girl to value her mind as highly as other people will value her beauty. I want her to look in the mirror only as much as is necessary to make sure she doesn’t have Marmite on her face and I’m hoping Instagram will have gone by the time she’s old enough to get on it. I’m afraid of the internet but I know girls are getting pretty good at sticking together, at telling the truth and at not being pushed around.
I want Boy to be able to laugh at himself. Because if he can do that, then no one can ever really hurt him. I want him to care about his friends, remember birthdays and thank you cards and never, ever expect anyone else to pick up his clothes or put his toothbrush back for him once he’s used it.
I want them both to know that if you try hard, it’s true what they say - you actually can do anything: be a crane operator, a lifeguard, a chef, a book illustrator, maths teacher or an expert in Angel Sharks. Especially if you get on with it as soon as possible because there isn’t much time.
I want their summers to be warm and their winters to be crisp, but not to get increasingly hotter or more and more cold until people start to dread them.
I want them to stay best friends and close together. And when they sit side by side at their joint 201th and 205th birthday party, surrounded by balloons and a huge family who are all just as funny and clever as they are, I want them to smile at each other and say, “This is all thanks to Mum. It’s a shame she’s gone on holiday to the Greek Islands and couldn’t make it today, especially as she still looks so great in a cocktail dress.”
But oh well, I suppose I can settle for a bunch of daffodils and something with our initials on.