Happy Mother’s Day from one Mum to Every Mum
Yes, it’s “Mum” and not “Mom” – homage to my birthplace, the grand old Mum of the Commonwealth, England. May seem like a little thing to some people, but it’s a big thing for me. My mother was Mum, and therefore I need to be “Mum”, too. The Canadian Citizenship certificate didn’t change everything about me, although it is certainly responsible for many, many good things about my life, both for me and for my very beautiful and lucky children.
I’m thinking about many things today because the calendar (and the greeting card companies) tells me that it is Mother’s Day – a day to thank Mums everywhere for all that they do. I’m thinking about my mother, Rosena Bessie Milton (nee Hill), who was born on Christmas Day in 1914 and died in the early Winter of 2011, in her 97th year. In my youth, we struggled to understand each other, but when I gave birth to my first child the past was obliterated. I learned instantly that she only ever wanted me to be safe and happy …
Here we are on my wedding day (photo taken by my sister, Deborah Milton). Mum was never all that comfortable in front of a camera, as is evident here. But the clasp of our hands says it all. I love looking at this photo because when I look at our hands I feel how much my mother loved me, and how happy she was for me on this most special of days. The second picture was taken in 1993, in the summer after Nicholas (my first born) arrived on the scene. My Dad was always the clown, as is evident here.
I have three children, and in the first several weeks post-partum, when joy, sleeplessness, uncertainty, and hormones all wreck havoc in equal measure, my Mother stood guard for me, arriving from afar fully intent on ensuring that I was the center of the universe. No one needed to tell her what being a new mum was all about.
Having these photos affirms for me why I love to take photographs. Looking back at moments that have been preserved in photos as “aides memoires” is a happy pasttime. My other preoccupation these days is the pending departure of my second born, my beautiful daughter, Rosalie. Our children must fly the coop eventually, and it comes so soon and is bittersweet. We are happy to send them off to the next exciting chapter. We hope sending them off to university will lead to independence and adulthood. But the send off is heartbreaking, as we contemplate how we will miss them so very much.
Beautiful photographs of your graduating son or daughter can be one way for you to hold on to those moments that become treasured memories. I am overwhelmed at the energy and beauty of youth on the verge of a grand adventure. I love to capture that spirit with my camera.