Tinged with joy at being a mother, tinged with sorrow at the absence of my own mother.
I haven't been able to share a Mothering Sunday (she always called it that) with her since 1997 as she passed away early in 1998 and it still hurts. The fact that I have had my own two pink bundles of joy means that I still get to celebrate the day, but being what we describe as the oldest blood female in our particular line makes me the matriarch at 36 - and I really shouldn't be. Ideally the two generations before me would still be here, but my grandmother was 98 when she died in 2002; she was in her mid thirties when she had my mother, who was also in her mid thirties when she had me, so they both left it relatively late for their eras to have their children. I, on the other hand, was a young mother at 23 in this day and age when more women are leaving it later to have their children. That last Mothering Sunday in 1997 when we were all four generations alive (I can't say "and well" but alive was an achievement for my mother) was a day to have been remembered.
And so, motherhood - the "holiest" of occupations, I read recently. The greatest gift I have ever been given, and the most awesome responsibility. The scariest thing, and most wonderful, children have brought me amazing joy as well as terrible fear. The FH wonders often what the world will be like for them as they grow older - but he is older and has seen more change in his lifetime - he can remember life before televisions, let alone pre-computers!
Tomorrow, we are going to church first of all, then my uncle is coming over for lunch. My dad might also visit during the afternoon, so I think that I will be doing a little baking after church so that we have some cake ready for tea! Simnel cake was traditionally made for Mothering Sunday before it got taken over by Easter, but marzipan is not a great favourite here so I won't be making one of those! One of the chickens is going in the slow cooker overnight and then will become a chicken pie for tomorrow's lunch - a family favourite.
Peppermint Bark Cheesecake
2 hours ago