With my Mum

My Mum comes over every Tuesday to spend the afternoon with me and Grace. We go shopping, play in the garden, sew or go for a walk. It's a comfortable and pleasurable part of my weekly routine. Grace loves it too, her face lighting up when her Nana comes in to get her from her morning nap.

I know I'm really lucky to have this kind of relationship with my mother. We've always been close but it hasn't always been this comfortable. I was a revolting teenager and quite horrible to her. There were some difficult times when my parents separated ( I was 25), later to divorce. Not to mention a nasty patch while we were in a family business together. My parents have both remarried and everyone gets along well enough for a big family Christmas and for birthday parties. Which is a good thing, but sometimes a bit complicated. One Christmas there were more ex-partners at the table than partners. Luckily it was a big table and everyone was on their best behaviour.

My Mum has a very profound belief in the value of family and in sticking together, even when you don't like each other very much. I think this comes from her parents, in particular her own mother, my Nan. Mum also has an amazing capacity to be present during difficult times. Maybe this comes from having been a nurse, but I think it is more innate than that. Mum was there when our son, Frank was born and died on the same day, and in the long months that followed. Three years later, when I was pregnant with Grace she came with me to many hospital appointments and was also with us during labour and Grace's birth. Even though she is not known by her first name, Grace, I think it pleased her greatly when I chose to name our daughter after her and after her grandmother before that. It greatly pleased me too.

September's self portrait challenge theme is "with someone". See many other people with their someones here.


girlfriday said...

Love your story about the special relationship with your mum. It's lovely to think of you two in a long generational line ... from your nan (Grace) and through to your daughter (Grace)

Jeremy Stockwell said...

Nice picture. Cute how you're both looking slightly off camera. (Flip around LCD on your camera? Canon PowerShot model, perhaps?)
Awesome that families are capable of getting through the tough stuff. It's so sad to see other families that don't survive the tough times like yours did.

Janet said...

Indeed, I do use a Canon Powershot. It's a pretty old one, the G2, but it does have a flip around LCD. I never thought how that might influence the look of the photo. This was taken at the end of the day and I was explaining to Mum how I wanted to frame the picture. I had another picture planned, but none of shots worked so I ended up using this one.

melba said...

Reading your story I thought of all the holidays I had to Choose who to spend with because my parents were divorced and not on speaking terms. How wonderful that your Mum was mature enough to know that on special days it is more important to be together than to "win" . That is always how it felt for me; a sort of pschycological competition between my dad and step mom angainst my mommy.
I know this is not the first time I visited your blog, but I did not know about your son. I never really know what to say, but want to acknowledge how painful that must have been and my thoughts are with you for continued strength.
You have a look of contentment on your face in the photo above and a sense of delight when you write about your daughter.

sooz said...

Isn't it nice when a relationship settles into something comfortable? You both look very at ease and it's wonderful to hear how you can recognise and appreciate that. So many people don't! Thank you for sharing about Frank too.
I too carried on a family line with the naming of my daughter - my mother's second name and my grandmother's first name. My grandmother died when I was pregnant and I really wanted to remember her and honour what I saw as my maternal line's characteristics of strength and energy and creativity. Oh and I liked the name too :-)