On the fourth Sunday in Lent, English Christians like my Mum celebrate Mothering Sunday. They’ve done so since the 1600s, so my Mum’s not entirely crazy when she tells me it’s the right, historical date (and accept no substitutions). But the fourth Sunday of Lent is pretty unlikely to fall near the second in May. And there you have my problem. In the US, stores will be full of Easter baskets and bunnies, not Mothers’ Day cards, just at that vital point in the year when I’m meant to remember something. As a result, there’s always a Sunday in spring when our regular, every-week, phone-call starts with “Hello Mum,” “Hello Sheila. Have you remembered what day it is?” “Ummm. No-o-o?” “That’s all right. I didn’t get a card from your brother either.”
The card from my brother will usually arrive at Mum’s doorstep three days late, due to the fact that he shares my procrastinatorly skills and struggles to get to the post office. The card from me… Well, if I send it in May it will get there so late Mum would view it more as insult than as thanks. What on earth’s an expatriate daughter to do?
So here, three days late for an American Mother’s Day, is my belated Mothering Sunday post, dedicated to my Mum.
I didn’t know you when
you pushed me to try harder
as if I could fly.
I didn’t know you then,
but I tried my best
and flew away.
I’ll never know who you were
but I know who you are;
my flight instructor,
and the very best Mum in the world
for this little girl.
So… thank you Mum… and sorry I’m so late, again!
Sheila Deeth is the author of Divide by Zero, Infinite Sum and Imaginary Numbers, all coming soon from Second Wind Publishing. She grew up in England and moved to the States with her husband and sons, more years ago than she cares to remember.