Mother’s Day, Memories and Immortality

So far, I’ve had a lovely Mother’s Day. A phone call from my son who lives on the other side of the country, lunch with my eldest son, his fiancée and my two grandsons and I’m looking forward to going to the movies with my youngest son this evening. It was wonderful getting to spend some time with my grandsons. At nearly 2 and a half, and nearly 8 months old, they are at a fabulous age for grandmothers. Starting to become their own souls, but still young enough to pick up. The eldest is constantly on the go; chatting, eating, climbing, he reminds me of his father at the same age. And I’m so happy I made it through that age! But he melts my heart when he calls me G-Ma.

I never thought the day when I could start comparing my grandchildren’s behaviour with their fathers would come so quickly. I still feel very new at this grandmother thing. But listening to my grandson emphatically saying “no” to every question, immediately brought back memories of all my three sons. Not to mention the wriggling! I only tried to get two cuddles, but he wriggled and wiggled his way out of both of my embraces. I did laugh. His father was exactly the same.

The youngest one was a bit more placid, very much like one of his uncles. He was content to munch on bits of chips and chicken, some mouthfuls of his mother’s gnocchi, but he spat out the broccoli. He’s not the only child to feel that way about broccoli. Although he settled in my arms and seemed content, I have the feeling he will be an independent soul as well, just like his brother, his father and his two uncles.

It is the best fun watching grandchildren grow up. I never thought I could enjoy it quite so much. They are at one time their own little beings and at the same time part of you. I can see the similarities between both my grandsons and my own boys. It’s not only in their behaviour, sometimes it can be the way they smile, or a look they give you, or even in the way they cry. Occasionally I can even see my younger self in them, as I once did in my own sons. I’m sure their mother’s side of the family thinks the same way.

This continuity of nuances and behaviours is both wonderous and satisfying. It gives us a sense of perpetuity. In our children and our grandchildren and, if we are lucky to live so long, our great grandchildren, we can see our family history, a link to ourselves and our ancestors. As the actor Peter Ustinov once said, “children are the only form of immortality that we can be sure of.”

It’s a comforting thought that, for many Mother’s Days after I’m gone, a part of me will still exist; in a smile, or a look, or a defiant “NO!”.

Alex

Alex de Fircks is a writer of memoir and short fiction. She blogs about family, moments in time, memories and travel. Alex is passionate about history, genealogy and family stories.

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