Folks, almost anyone with the right plumbing, and a willing accomplice, can become a mother, but being a good mum is another matter.
An example of a mere mother was the young woman I witnessed last weekend pushing her baby in a pram along a footpath. Her eyes were glued to her phone, so she had no idea she was crossing a busy service station driveway. She became aware that something was wrong in ‘Reality World’ when she heard the sound of squealing tyres.
Scrambling to safety, she quickly checked bub, then sailed off again with her eyes locked back on her phone. “Mother of the year,” I muttered; once my heart had started beating again.
But later that day, while enjoying a delightful Autumn swim (thankyou Climate Change!) I met a contender for Mum of the Year. Struggling in the big surf was a tiny, middle-aged woman trying to teach her young son to bodysurf.
“…that determined little mother had the right stuff to be a great mum.”
She was literally out of her depth, both in the water and in her knowledge of bodysurfing, but to everyone’s amazement, she managed to catch a huge roller which nearly dumped her into the carpark behind the dunes.
Spitting sand, she floundered back to her son who yelled, “You looked like an upside down turtle Mum!” Well, it was sort of hard not to laugh…
At this point, Mum decided it was time to increase her sons’ lung capacity by dunking him underwater for quite a long time.
When junior eventually resurfaced, he seemed a lot keener to catch a wave, any wave, and he nailed one almost immediately. As he bobbed toward the shore his mum, and the rest of us, cheered him on.
Paddling away I smiled at how that determined little mother had the right stuff to be a great mum.