Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day...!

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there, or to anyone who has, or has had, a Mom. I have dozens of photographs of my mother, but this is my favourite because she was caught off guard having her picture taken by Foncie, the famous street photographer in Vancouver. This picture is now in the Foncie's Photos exhibit at the Vancouver Museum. I think my mother would get a chuckle out of that.  She has that expression that my brothers and I came to recognize so well.  "What, may I ask, are you doing...?" in her South African accent.  Well, usually we were up to no good, but she seemed to like us anyway ... most of the time, that is.

Being a mother is not easy, and you definitely need a sense of humour.  I remember when I was about three or four years old, I happened upon some of the little neighbourhood boys having a -- shall we say -- contest, to see who could pee the farthest.  Being the good sport I was, I wanted to join in, but I didn't have the right apparatus, and I was really puzzled.  Why didn't I have one of those?  I felt I had been gypped, and I was very curious about them.  When my mother discovered us, she sent all the little boys home and took me into the house, sat me on the chesterfield and said, "Wait until your father gets home!"  I sat there for two hours, filled with fear and dread.  Finally I heard my father's footsteps on the back stairs, and some mumbled whispering in the kitchen, and then my father roared with laughter.  I had never heard my father laugh so hard.  My mother broke down and started laughing too, and for ten minutes the two of them roared hysterically while I sat trembling on the chesterfield.  Finally, I got up and went back outside to play and the whole incident was never mentioned again.  The only lesson I really learned is that if you're a parent you have to laugh because childhood is innocence and insanity, and you can't take it too seriously.

I think Mother's Day is for children, not for mothers.  It's the one day of the year when the kids can fumble around in an attempt to make breakfast, or buy a completely unusable gift, or make a funny little card, or do something sweet that they would not otherwise do the other 364 days of the year.  And it's the one day of the year when mothers should never say, "What, may I ask, are you doing...?"

Happy Mother's Day...!

16 comments:

jojo said...

great memory, yeah I chuckled too! Lovely pic of your mom...
Happy Mother's Day Jo..;j

A human kind of human said...

Hi Jo, Your mother was a beautiful woman. I so enjoyed this post because I have also always found that a sense of humour is the one thing that kept me grounded when my children were little. Have a wonderful Mother's Day.

Pauline said...

I like that your mother finally laughed, too ;)

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

A beautiful lady! Her picture deserves to be in and exhibit in a museum.

Wishing you a lovely Mother's Day.
~♥~

@ly said...

Happy Mother's Day to you! Sweet memories carried in the heart are what get us through.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Love the picture that catches her off-guard. My favorite pictures are un-posed.

Did they ever explain your lack of ability to join in the contest?

DJan said...

That is really funny! No wonder your dad was laughing so hard. And your mother, too! Now we all get a chance to laugh and smile at your innocence. Happy Mother's Day to all the moms in our lives!

Mac n' Janet said...

Loved it! You're right if you're a parent and don't laugh you're in trouble.

Deb said...

Have you ever visited South Africa? Such a lovely dream vacation spot....happy mother's day!

The Bug said...

I'm missing my mom something fierce these days - it's so hard sometimes. I was looking back at some old poetry I had written (for today's post) & found some quite atrocious poems to my mom. And she acted like I was a genius - too funny!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

This post made me laugh, too. when I was about four, I tried to pee standing up as I had seen the boy next door do in the woods. I carefully straddled the toilet, standing on only one foot because I was too short to stand on both, and let go. Imagine my surprise when it ran down my leg onto the floor. My mother chose that moment to invade the bathroom, took one look and fled. She didn't spank me because she didn't want to get her hand wet.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

P.S. It's a great picture of your mother! Happy Mother's Day to you, Jo.

budh.aaah said...

Oh Jo,
''The only lesson I really learned is that if you're a parent you have to laugh because childhood is innocence and insanity, and you can't take it too seriously.''
Thia really has been written so beautifully as always..and yes you could teach a thing or two-to so many parents out there, who dont know how to deal with childhood innocense and instead of reveling in it..being happy..they punish it.

Jo said...

Oh Jo, what a priceless memory of both your parents! Thank you for sharing this.

Your mother was very beautiful, and it's easy to see that the apple didn't fall from the tree.

As one of six children and mother of four, I can safely say the the most important asset in parenting is a well-developed sense of humor!

Happy belated Mother's Day, Jo!

Jay said...

I have wondered about Foncies Photos ! I am glad to hear they are in the museum. I once did and online search a few years back and came up empty handed - I must try again.

I know at various times he captured my Mom and Grandma in the early days and later I have one of the only pictures of my whole family taken at the PNE in 1962 by one of his assistants.
Your Mom has a look of strength to her.

mlu said...

Happy Mother's Day:)