On Mother bothering Sunday I realise that although I no longer have a mother, I can share the gifts she gave me

I can embarrass my teenager with my fashion choices

I can be a loving presence with sick children

I can swim with my head out of the water

I can talk to cats on my walk

I can deliver a lengthy sermon to the kids who have grown too old to live at home

I can hand-feed an animal who is in pain

I can argue about politics

I can sing along to corny, nostalgic music

I can read books and impart their wisdom

I can kiss dogs at the dog park and frighten their owners

I can dance in the garden of my dreams

thank you dearest mother

Totally biased mothering

I miss my mum even though she’s still here. Dementia has taken away her speech and her legs, but left her with a sparkle in her eyes whenever my children walk up to her chair. She glows when she sees her grand kids. When I hold her hand, she smiles. She could still pick me out in a police line up. And some days she tries to feed me. Even if it’s the crust from her sandwich or a spoonful of watery soup.

Barbie was a totally biased mother. She cut people out of our family photos if they were mean to her children. She stood up for us even when we probably didn’t deserve it. The older I get, the more I appreciate her bias in the face of evidence that proved her children were occasionally wrong. Not me, of course, but my siblings.

My kids were also blessed to have a wonderful indigenous grandmother who survived, built a family on her own, fed us, made art and laughed with us, and taught me resilience with her protective, fierce mother energy. She loved her family and actively gave her all to us. She never wanted slippers; time, cake and loving care was her greatest gift. She left us too soon. We miss her.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone, especially those without their mothers and grandmothers, and those whose children have gone or didn’t get to be born in this life. Today can be tough. Let’s all spread mothering love to our friends and chosen family, whether fur or human. Wipe dribble off your friend’s face, help them tuck in their shirt, make them toast and tell them off for their messy car. Your mother would be proud.