Today is Mother’s Day in France. All over the country responsible children will be taking their mothers and grandmothers out to lunch. It is the worst day of the year to try to get a table in your favourite restuarant. They are booked up weeks in advance.
I will be eating my lunch on the TGV, as I am bound for Paris. This is not something I did on purpose; I was offered tickets to the French Open for Monday. Rupert is in London and is meeting me at the hotel, he still doesn’t know where we’re going, so it’s all very exciting. I just hope his hero Federer is playing.
Less exciting was the children’s reaction when I told them I was skipping off on Mother’s Day. They were, frankly, appalled. The term ‘disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ springs to mind. And of course I felt horrible.
But this morning before I left they showered me with presents and cards. I am wearing the necklace Bea gave me with great care as she has yet to perfect the closing mechanism.
“If you hear something falling, then look behind you,” was her advice.
Olivia gave me a wooden bracelet and said; “Any time you miss us and feel sad you can kiss this.” Sweet you might think. But she also said, as I was trying to get my skinny jeans on, “Mummy, aren’t they a bit small for you?”
My point though is this; who is Mother’s Day for? Should we as mothers spend it with our children (like we do most other days) or should it be a day we take for ourselves, to get away from our children and have some quality time with ourselves?
Rupert has been away since Wednesday and the babies have been really tough for some reason. I must have fantasised about the moment I would finally be on this TGV in perfect calm and solitude more than I have fantasised about George Clooney picking me to write his biography or Marat Safin offering to give me tennis lessons in the nude.
I have to say I come down on the side of Mother’s Day being a day when mothers should so whatever they like. And if that means getting on a train, spending an afternoon in a Paris hotel room sleeping and meeting their husbands in the evening then so be it.
Although I do miss them already and have a feeling that bracelet is going to come in handy.
Copyright:Helena Frith Powell 2007
Oh dear, I loved the snippy comment about the skinny jeans being too small. Aren’t children awful?
My son happened upon me as I had levered myself into a thong:
‘Oh Mummy, I think you’ve got your pants on back to front – your bottom’s poking out!’
At least he didn’t say ‘hanging out’, I suppose. Small mercies and all that.
I am so jealous – you might see Nadal, in the flesh, as it were. Now there’s a Mothers’ Day treat. I’m trying to console you as Safin’s out, I understand.
Hmmmmm … I wonder how Kate McCann would answer your question …
“My point though is this; who is Mother’s Day for? Should we as mothers spend it with our children (like we do most other days) or should it be a day we take for ourselves, to get away from our children and have some quality time with ourselves?”
Well , I am all for the French Open, be it without strawberries and cream, followed by an evening with your beau at a lovely hotel room…
LOL about the journey on the train. I often fantasize about the trip from C’bury to London and backwards. All the reading, tea and sandwiches…
But come on, without my kids on Mother’s Day of all days? No, i don’t think so, even if it were for Becks!
Have a lovely stay in Paris!
My stepfather usually takes my siblings camping the weekend of Mother’s Day.
By the way, how does it feel to have a Wikipedia article?
It’s always a dilemma and I know how torn you can be. I still have to come down on the side of everyone having some time just for them, if that is what they need. I think if you are happier,then the children will be too. Guilt assuaged now..(mine, that is)
Kate McCann is qualified only to answer that question for herself. Likewise for Helena and the rest of us.
A friend of mine regularly sighs that “a mother’s place is in the wrong” when her children are being more teenagey than usual. From that starting point I guess that things can only get better!!