This is going to be a culmination of things floating around in my head today. But bear with me and it will become clear.
Just over a year ago I downloaded Bon Iver’s wonderful self-titled album to listen to on the journey to Pais Vasco with the Spanish family who I was living with at the time. During the time I lived with them, the mother both helped and taught me a lot about life during my stay in Catalonia so I want to thank her here (thank you).
If you haven’t heard it, this album takes the beautiful harmonies typical of the band and mixes brass and slide guitar to create a dreamlike soundtrack to any backdrop. It has serenaded me on train journeys from Mataro to El Masnou, and from the depths of Barcelona to Barceloneta on my way to San Juan, it has been there accompanying me and providing a delicate wonderscape to melt my thoughts together.
So thank you Bon Iver for creating this magical album.
And thank you to Bon Iver’s Mum’s, too.
At this point it’s easy to start thinking about what people would thank your mother for bringing into this world but I don’t think you need to ask yourself that really. That’s for other people to decide and there will be many answers for each and every one of you.
So there I was in Bilbao for the day, I had not wanted to go as my sister was heavily pregnant and I wanted to be near my laptop so that my family could contact me if anything happened. In the end, this wasn’t possible so my mum took the email of the Father in the Spanish family. This was the only method of communication.
We sat drinking coffee and Jose checked his phone as he had done almost constantly for my benefit during our time in the Basque Country. And he said ’email, Mum de Sam’ and handed me the phone. It said my sister had gone into labour and so for the rest of the day, as I looked around the city, I pictured my new nephews running around the streets of Bilbao and me teaching them the bits of Spanish that I knew.
In the car on the way home, my thoughts were with my sister and the two boys being brought into the world. Two young minds with the possibility to do anything, make people laugh and cry or anything else they wanted and I wrote my thoughts into a note on my phone. I hoped for a happy world for them to be brought into, one where they would not carry the worries of war and they would not have to see their fellow human beings suffer without food or sleep on the street. They have provided me a hopeful pair of eyes. A reason to look for solutions to problems and try to make the world a little better.
As I lay in my bed that night, I resisted dreaming for as long as possible in the hope that somehow I would telepathically know what was happening with my sister. I hoped for her safety and the safe arrival of her two boys.
Eventually, I fell asleep.
‘and at once I knew, I was not magnificent.’
I woke up an uncle.
Congratulations to my sister, who is a brilliant Mother.
Now, when people post pictures of sprogs on Facebook and other websites normally they look like gremlins. Lovely gremlins, but gremlins nonetheless. However, when my sister does it, they are smiling little chaps who always look as happy as Larry after three beroccas. They are brilliant too.
Today is Mother’s Day. El dia de la Madre.
On this day every year I realise that I am one of the luckiest chaps. As not only do I have a wonderful mother who always supports me and listens to my nonsensical rumblings but I also have a lovely step-mum, Karen who is yet another massive support and the makers of me three amazing, funny and cheeky brothers. Her family including her mother, Chris, have always been fantastic to me and I cannot be thankful enough for that. As well as this, I have a fantastic Grandma who is without a doubt one of the most interesting, funny and clever people I have ever known. She has a brilliant sense of humor and an overwhelmingly loving heart.
All of these wonderful ladies have brought brilliant people into this world and each of them is a brilliant person themself. So let’s all raise a glass to the mums who are with us and those who have been. Where would we be without Einstein’s mum?
The wonderful thing about life is what you create can never be uncreated so make something magnificent. Whether it is a memory, a song or a person. Once something is made, it cannot be unmade. So make it happen.