Here are some things I think about when I think about my Mum.
The reaction to my Mum’s Twitter handle is always the same. People half-laugh, half-‘awwww!’ then say something like “that’s so cute/hilarious/precious” and I roll my eyes, do a Joey-Potter-side-grin and in a silly voice reply, “yeah I know my Mum loves me”.
In primary school I was talking in a lesson – but it was OK because everyone was talking – and I was halfway through explaining how Mariah Carey was on an actual rollercoaster in the Fantasy video, when I realised everyone had stopped talking. Then I noticed what sounded like my Mum’s voice behind me. I turned slowly in my chair, mouth agape in horror, and saw that yes my actual mother was in fact stood by the door with my teacher, telling her that “Becca has been a bit poorly lately so I just wanted to stop by and see if she was OK” and every single one of my classmates looked like this. Time of death: 11.01.
For a woman who has a fairly solid grasp of the internet, she once got in touch to say she was putting a USB stick in the post, and could I please upload some nice pictures of me onto it and post back to her? She was emailing me at the time.
The time when I deliberately avoided booking a slot with my French teacher for parents’ evening because she hated me (I tortured her… kids be good to your teachers they do NOT get paid enough for your shit), but she marched up to my Mum anyway and to tell her I was terribly behaved (I was) and how I acted like the queen of the world (I did). Mum nodded and “mm”d through the whole thing while I stared at the floor. When my teacher spun away on her heel, Mum walked me out and muttered “whaddabitch”.
At around 11pm on my 13th birthday she sat on the wall out the front and nursed a glass of neat rum to calm her nerves from the Spice Girls-themed sleepover I’d insisted on having. There were only five of us, but two of the girls insisted on being Baby, nobody wanted to be Posh (what fools we were) and the fighting just got too much for my poor mum. Naturally we all piled out the front to just, like, fight around her.
The time Nanna babysat me while Mum went out for New Year’s Eve. I got to stay up to watch midnight roll in, and then I got to watch Mum roll in, drunkenly laugh her head off and flip Nanna the bird.
A couple of weeks before I was meant to start my second year of uni, Mum got really sick, really fast… the kind of sick where her mortality came into question, so she got pretty honest with me about life, love and disappointment. I was too young to fully understand or appreciate what she was telling me, and she knew that, I think, but maybe wanted to tell me in case that was all we had left.
Recently I went on holiday with Mum and all my aunts. They periodically book an Airbnb somewhere to go get hammered together for a week, and this time they invited me along. It was a truly wonderful week in the Scottish Highlands with my family and I had a great time, but maybe I forgot to tell my face because Mum spent so much time asking if I was OK, I wonder if by making her worry, I ruined the week for her a bit.
Nanna and Poppa came to stay. They drove all the way down from Scotland and were so tired. Mum asked me to put the kettle on, and because I was 12 years old a monster I yelled at her not to treat me like her personal slave… in front of Nanna and Poppa. Despite being absolutely knackered from the ten-hour drive, Poppa jumped up and announced he and I were going to the chip shop and he was going to buy fish suppers for everyone. He asked me about school and I yammered all the way to the chippy and back. About twenty doors from my house he cleared his throat and, apropos of nothing, declared that he had a lot of time for my Mum; she’d had a tough life and he had a lot of time for her. I felt like an utter dick.
When I went away to Ireland for a week, Mum sent me a text telling me to look out for lesbians. Auto-correct.
The tone of her voice when the nasty ex-boyfriend rang her to ask for advice on how to get me back, and the look on her face when I walked into her room to find out who they hell she was talking to cause I’d never heard her use that voice before.
After My First Time, thinking my best friend and I had managed to be quiet enough that Mum, who’d been in the living room underneath us the whole time, wouldn’t know, I went downstairs to grab a couple of glasses of water. As I passed the living room doorway, she gave me The Double Thumbs Up.
Explaining to Mum that she doesn’t need to like every single one of my tweets or Facebook posts, or every one of my friends’ tweets and Facebook posts – to the point where her nickname is ‘PatriciaBrynolflikesthis’ – and that we all just assume she likes everything we do and won’t be offended if she doesn’t provide digital evidence of it. She continues to like every photo in a 100+ Facebook album.
My mum’s Twitter handle is beckysmummy.
Yeah, I know.