Mum sat through The Beatles with her hands over her ears!
I am one of two girls in my family born and raised in Ireland. My Mum came from the Dr Spock generation and followed his child rearing views to the letter. Unusually for the times, my mother breastfed. It wasn’t the snuggly, warm breastfeeding of today. We were timed (‘two minutes a side’) and that was that. After our Spartan feed, we were put in the pram and parked under a tree until the next feed, exactly four hours later, to the minute! No matter how much my sister and I cried, we were never lifted out of the pram until the appointed hour. As far as I know this was the done thing at the time and my Mum probably wasn’t too different from others.
I can’t ever remember sitting on my mum’s knee or being cuddled. Mum was very good tempered, but sometimes we pushed her too far. She would resort to walloping us with a hairbrush. Fortunately for us, she never realised that the bristle side doesn’t hurt and we never told her!
There were lots of good times too. Mud pies were always permitted and filthy clothes were removed without a murmur. Mum was even amused when she discovered my sister and I, at 10-years-old, experimenting in the long grass with one of the local boys. And then there was Halloween when Mum came in to her own. She invited half the neighbourhood to our house. There was always a huge bonfire and an impressive display of fireworks. She cooked baked potatoes, hot dogs, sausage rolls, cake and rice crispie buns. There were great games.
At weekends we were always taken on outings. Things kids like to do – ice-skating, the beach. One surprise outing when we were older was tickets to see The Beatles! Mum and Dad came too. The screaming was deafening and my abiding memory is of my parents sitting with both hands over their ears! That was dedicated parenting.
Mum is older now. We are a lot closer. I have never known her be judgmental, critical or hear her complain. As she moves in to her later years she is still optimistic, supportive and caring. I am very proud you, Mum.