Today, not only did I get monumentally April Fools'ed by Google, (and subsequently receive the most likes on a comment on Facebook I think I've ever received), I got the absolute giddy honour of returning home for the holidays.
Being able to go home is one of the most exciting things in the world for me.
Although my University is only about a two hour drive from home, finding the time to do that, is almost impossible. Over the Christmas period I was working so many shifts that I only got to return home for a few hours on Christmas Day, before I had to shoot back to Uni again to do my 12 hour Boxing Day Shift.
When I stepped in the front door this evening, my senses were completely overwhelmed.
The first thing that hit me was the warmth. Not just any warmth like you'd find in any other place. This was genuine resonating love and affection, glowing from the candles and the small twinkling lights around the fireplace and in the lights under the kitchen cabinets, bathing the entire house in a creamy glow.
Next was the smell. Y'know when you step inside someone else's house for the first time, and each has its own individual house smell? But you can never identify your own house smell? I'd been away for so long that I was actually able to realise what that was. It smelt like Christmas and fresh linen, vanilla, cinnamon, love, flowers, Yankee Candles and just home.
In terms of phasing, for me, as soon as I walked in it whirled me right back to late summer of 2011. I guess perhaps because that was the end of me permanently living at home before I went to Uni. That was such a pivotal, momentous and beautifully tragic time of my life, for reasons of which I can never ever disclose... I wonder if perhaps I'll end up blogging about it one day? But anyway, just stepping into my house I was entirely awash with twenty years of memories and life, and it was not overwhelming like it is with phasing. It was just...comforting.
Then I saw my Mother.
I stood there, loaded up with my bags, looking a bedraggled motorway mess, and she just smiled with a little sigh, folded her arms and said,
"The kettle's on, there's a roast dinner in the oven for you and your Easter egg is on the kitchen table."
My face just broke into a massive grin. Thinking about it now, my house could not be more stereotypically British.
I'm not sure if I can ever put into words how I feel about my Mother.
She is the most beautiful, inspiring, completely kooky and unbelievably strong woman I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She is the most incredible person I know, and I am so so proud to be her daughter.
If you go on any social network you'll always see at least one person complaining endlessly and slating their parents, and it genuinely upsets me. I understand that some have very difficult relationships with their parents, but for those who do everything for their children only to get it thrown back in their faces... I don't get it.
It was seeing her today, cuddling her like I have done for the past twenty years and just being in my beautiful home, that made me want to write to her. I shouldn't just let her know how much I appreciate her on Mother's day. I thought about my childhood and all the things I think about influencing other people's lives, and it was then that I realised just how much she has done for me and my sister, Charlotte.
While she is now sleeping upstairs, I have written her a letter, and I shall send it to her randomly while she is at work tomorrow.
So here goes.
(Who was I kidding thinking that I couldn't put it into words? God damn, I can put anything into words whether anyone wants me to or not.)
" Hi Mum,
This may seem a little out of the blue but for some reason all of this just came into my head today, and I really wanted to share it with you.
I watched another mother whilst I was at work the other day. She had a young child in a pram who was screeching and a disobedient toddler running amok around her ankles. The toddler then kicked her in the shins. She instantly dropped down to his level, grabbed him by the wrist and reprimanded him, shouting and glaring at him. The boy too burst into tears and began wailing along with his younger sibling. The mother, hair escaping from its tie and dark circles under her eyes, put her head in her hands.
I began to think about just how hard motherhood must be, especially with more than one child under the age of five. There are so many different methods of parenting, so many conflicting schools of thought on the proper way to raise a child, it must be so easy to put a foot wrong. After all, you are entirely responsible for teaching that blubbering mass of kicking limbs, ear-splitting screeches and drool, to be human. It's your actions and influences that will determine how successful that little human will be in turning into a person. One misjudgement of your chosen method could potentially disadvantage your child for the rest of their life. That's an awful lot of pressure.
Then I reflected back on my own childhood. That was when I realised just exactly how much you have done for me and Charlotte, and how lucky we are to have a mother like you. On paper, my childhood was a mess. I realised that I should probably be a hell of a lot more messed up than I am. I realised that I've had no consistent father figure in my life - what all Freudian journals would say will have effected me deeply and psychologically. Yet I'm completely normal. If anything, I'd say I'm more than normal. I like to think out that I've turned out quite extraordinary. And that, that is when I realised that is because you have not just been an incredible mother to us, you have been an incredible father too, you have been the ultimate parent, all in one. We never needed anything more.
Then I reflected on my current place in life. I am incredibly successful in almost everything I do. I am overwhelming and perpetually happy, with a wise and headstrong view of the world. I have so much potential to achieve greatness, and there's very little holding me back from doing so, and I think the world knows this just as much as I do.
I am proud of myself.
And that's not an arrogant self-assessment. If anything, it is a testament to just what an incredible mother you have been. For me, when I have children, all I could ever hope for is for them to be proud of the person which I encouraged and helped them to become, in the same way that I am proud of them. Knowing that I created the mind which lies in the brain of the human that I created, that can independently think these thoughts of love and appreciation at its own creation...When my children feel the same pride in their own character as I do when I look at them through maternal eyes, that is when I know I have succeeded as a mother and as a human being.
I hope one day I will be just as wonderful a mother as you have been to me.
I love you so much, Mummy.
Katie x "
I hope it doesn't make her cry at work, haha.