You know that saying - "we can't chose our families"? Or something along those lines... well if I could chose my mother, I'd definitely 100% without a seconds thought, chose the mother that I was given.
I swear I would.
It's her birthday today, and so I wanted to mark it with words on a page. It's just her 51st birthday, so perhaps this post might have been more poignant if it were devised this time last year when she turned the big 50. But, you see, this time last year I was very pregnant and very much obsessed with my own belly.
OK, so that's a lie, her 50th was a fantastic celebration. But her 51st took me by surprise. Of course I knew it would be a good day - I really did. We always have a great time together and we get on incredibly well. Some would say we are more like sisters. But you know those days where things just go a million billion times better than you anticipated? A day where you are giddy, random things happen, and you just feel good. Well that was today. And it was good for my soul. I'm feeling all kinds of blessed this evening.
I'm the girl who's best friend is her mother. I'm that girl.
There was something so incredibly special about sitting at a table sharing lunch with my mam and my son today. Even just saying those words makes me want to burst with pride and love. Believe it or not, I don't get to say the word "son" very often. Most people that I speak to know Billy, and so he's referred to as, well - Billy. Then there comes an odd occasion where someone asks me a questions which requires me to respond with "my son". And it stops me in my tracks. It is like an intense surge of love, pride and "pinch me". I still can't believe he's mine. My son. PINCH ME.
And then there comes a lunch date where I'm celebrating my mam's birthday. The eternal giver. The woman who quite literally gives us everything. She is the actual real life "all things to all people" person. I don't know how she does it. I'm sitting across the table from her and I find myself thinking about how growing up I always wanted to be like her. I loved her personality, her heart, her sense of humour, the way she raised her children, her cooking.
And then I look at my son. My son. And the WAY he looks at my mother makes me want to explode with sheer LOVE. He adores her. It is a surreal moment to sit back, for a moment, and watch the relationship between your mother and your child unfold. The two generations, brought together by you. The love. The sheer selfless would-do-anything-for you type of love. It's infectious. It's blinding. And it's right in front of you. And you made it happen.
I found myself choked up several times today. One of those days where we just laughed and laughed, talking about the past and the future. A day where I kind of knew neither of us wanted to go back to our "normal" life. It almost felt like being on holidays. Does that make sense?
For her birthday, I brought her to The Fumbally cafe, which in itself (to be fair) is a place that increases your coolness by about 50% when you walk in the door. It's a thoroughfare of activity, eccentric people, the hustle and the bustle type of vibe, and some unreal food most importantly. Fresh, delicious, interesting, cool. And cheap as chips all things considered. It was my mam's first time there, and she is now a convert. She's a coeliac so finding good eateries in Dublin can be a bit of a chore. There's only so many baked potatoes you can have. Seriously Dublin, sort yourselves out and start catering for the gluten-free folks a wee bit more. You're losing business! So this happened.
And it was marvellous. A salad plate with extra Falafel. €10 all in. Like, seriously? €10 for a plate of off the rictor-scale deliciousness. Fresh food, full of flavour and interesting ingredients, colour, texture, and all the good stuff. A little party on your plate. Mam's came with gluten-free bread. Mine came with sour-dough that Billy claimed as his own. A bit of hummus spread on a crust of bread, and he was all sorts of happy.
After lunch we devoured a sensational latte each, and I had the BEST flapjack that I have ever tasted. And let me tell you, I am a fan of a flapjack. So yes, Fumbally is amazing. GO!
After lunch we pottered back to the car, and I was having a bit of a giggle dancing with Billy in the sling. Of course my mam saw this as a candid camera moment. At the end of the video you can hear me saying "oh hello" to someone. We ran in to an old friend. That's one of the things I love about Dublin's tinyness. In a random lane as I'm dancing like a crazy woman and we are in fits of laughter. I think he thought that we were off our rocker. And we are. And the video pretty much symbolises all that today meant to me.
Laughter, Family, Good Food, Spontaneity, Friendship, Music, Dancing, Good Coffee, and all that good stuff.
Happy birthday Mama. Your first as a Nanna. I can only hope that I turn out to be half the woman that you are.