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Catching Snowflakes

1
To Auntie L x

I remember the smell of your house at christmas, the familiar tinsel scent that would wrap around me as I walked in from the  cold. Just 16 years lay between us, and as time marched on, the age gap dissolved like snowflakes in warm hands.

I made the short train ride to see you most weekends – you had three boys under 8 and I sensed that it was ‘full on’. Being a mother now, I understand how relentless that would have been as I’ve only one, and at times, struggle.  With the advent of age and motherhood, I understand you,

SelfishMother.com
2
and respect you even more, with your constant juggling of work and caring for three gorgeous, boisterous boys.

Relentless your life was, but you were still so darkly funny, witty and intelligent amidst the carnage and utter joy that only three boys can create.  In my naivety, I thought I knew what it meant to have a child, but my concept of motherhood was two dimensional then, because when I held my baby on my chest, I realised that every cell in your body and soul changes. You love so much that life is irreversibly changed.  How you kept your

SelfishMother.com
3
sanity, wit and humour is a testament to the amazing woman and mother that you were. I thought I understood the flashes of anxiety you felt as a mother, the balancing act of working and getting them to school. I really had no idea how bloody hard it was for you.

They were so funny though weren’t they? The time ‘C’ thought I was in the ‘lazytown dvd’, the night ‘G’ cut his hair and resembled Dr Spock; and how sweet ‘J’ was when he fell in love with Rose on Dr Who. I adored this time of year with you all. The wondrous cuddles when the

SelfishMother.com
4
boys sang christmas carols; the way they ferociously loved me, giving me a small window into what it is to love unconditionally.

Amongst the boisterous chaos, you always had time for me as I moaned about work and relationship woes. In hindsight trivial, but I mattered  so much to you and therefore my worries did.  And the red wine….. oh the nights of red wine putting the world to rights, discussing ways to change the patriarchal structures that weaved in different patterns between the both of us.

I often wonder what you would have made of the

SelfishMother.com
5
explosion in social media. Back in 2006, we were already discussing the unfairness of companies not providing flexitime for working mothers, the despair we felt as we discussed the lack of affordable childcare. Unbeknown to us, society was on the cusp of a ‘social media’ revolution.

In the ‘noughties’ experiences of working mothers were confined to snippets of conversation at the school gates, and snatched hurried moments in soft play. We were yet to meet the army of digital mothers who felt the same. Technology, social media and mothers’

SelfishMother.com
6
consciousness’s were yet to crystallise, but change was tantalising close. You often said that you could feel a ‘change in the air’,  it was as if you ‘sensed’ the social media platforms that would change the world we thought we knew.

That phone call in 2008 changed my life. Suddenly, at 44 you were in hospital and the Consultant told me to come in and say goodbye. I walked into the ward, and a triangle of sunlight accentuated your face.  I tenderly held your hand to my face and whispered my final goodbyes. You were my auntie and my best

SelfishMother.com
7
friend. Telling your boys 4, 6 & 8, that mummy wasn’t coming home, is the hardest, most pain inducing thing I’ve ever had to do. A part of me died that day too Auntie L and the grief still stabs the very core of me.

I write this because I want people to read about you. At times you doubted yourself,  but you were an amazing mother, perhaps the pioneer of keeping an essence of who you were, whilst debating your desire for a fairer society, a better place for woman who were also mothers.

Catching snowflakes always reminds me that life is

SelfishMother.com
8
fleeting, and bestows us with a temporary beauty and love that we must place in our hearts. Christmas memories like snowflakes fade, but this year, let us be enchanted by the joy and beauty that they bring.

Lets all raise a glass to motherhood this Christmas, to those in our present and past – Merry Christmas Auntie L x

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- 22 Dec 18

To Auntie L x

I remember the smell of your house at christmas, the familiar tinsel scent that would wrap around me as I walked in from the  cold. Just 16 years lay between us, and as time marched on, the age gap dissolved like snowflakes in warm hands.

I made the short train ride to see you most weekends – you had three boys under 8 and I sensed that it was ‘full on’. Being a mother now, I understand how relentless that would have been as I’ve only one, and at times, struggle.  With the advent of age and motherhood, I understand you, and respect you even more, with your constant juggling of work and caring for three gorgeous, boisterous boys.

Relentless your life was, but you were still so darkly funny, witty and intelligent amidst the carnage and utter joy that only three boys can create.  In my naivety, I thought I knew what it meant to have a child, but my concept of motherhood was two dimensional then, because when I held my baby on my chest, I realised that every cell in your body and soul changes. You love so much that life is irreversibly changed.  How you kept your sanity, wit and humour is a testament to the amazing woman and mother that you were. I thought I understood the flashes of anxiety you felt as a mother, the balancing act of working and getting them to school. I really had no idea how bloody hard it was for you.

They were so funny though weren’t they? The time ‘C’ thought I was in the ‘lazytown dvd’, the night ‘G’ cut his hair and resembled Dr Spock; and how sweet ‘J’ was when he fell in love with Rose on Dr Who. I adored this time of year with you all. The wondrous cuddles when the boys sang christmas carols; the way they ferociously loved me, giving me a small window into what it is to love unconditionally.

Amongst the boisterous chaos, you always had time for me as I moaned about work and relationship woes. In hindsight trivial, but I mattered  so much to you and therefore my worries did.  And the red wine….. oh the nights of red wine putting the world to rights, discussing ways to change the patriarchal structures that weaved in different patterns between the both of us.

I often wonder what you would have made of the explosion in social media. Back in 2006, we were already discussing the unfairness of companies not providing flexitime for working mothers, the despair we felt as we discussed the lack of affordable childcare. Unbeknown to us, society was on the cusp of a ‘social media’ revolution.

In the ‘noughties’ experiences of working mothers were confined to snippets of conversation at the school gates, and snatched hurried moments in soft play. We were yet to meet the army of digital mothers who felt the same. Technology, social media and mothers’ consciousness’s were yet to crystallise, but change was tantalising close. You often said that you could feel a ‘change in the air’,  it was as if you ‘sensed’ the social media platforms that would change the world we thought we knew.

That phone call in 2008 changed my life. Suddenly, at 44 you were in hospital and the Consultant told me to come in and say goodbye. I walked into the ward, and a triangle of sunlight accentuated your face.  I tenderly held your hand to my face and whispered my final goodbyes. You were my auntie and my best friend. Telling your boys 4, 6 & 8, that mummy wasn’t coming home, is the hardest, most pain inducing thing I’ve ever had to do. A part of me died that day too Auntie L and the grief still stabs the very core of me.

I write this because I want people to read about you. At times you doubted yourself,  but you were an amazing mother, perhaps the pioneer of keeping an essence of who you were, whilst debating your desire for a fairer society, a better place for woman who were also mothers.

Catching snowflakes always reminds me that life is fleeting, and bestows us with a temporary beauty and love that we must place in our hearts. Christmas memories like snowflakes fade, but this year, let us be enchanted by the joy and beauty that they bring.

Lets all raise a glass to motherhood this Christmas, to those in our present and past – Merry Christmas Auntie L x

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Mum to Zachary; Idealist; belief in humanity; Graduate in Psychology; trainee Psychotherapist (specialising in woman's mental health), aspiring freelance writer with a passion in understanding what modern feminism means for mothers, and finally....... a Prosecco opener extraordinaire!

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