Tag Archives: grandparents

We’re all stories in the end….

Today would have been my dad’s birthday. I’ll probably talk about him more than usual to the kids today. Tell stories of when their auntie and I were little , re-tell some of his terrible jokes.

I wrote a post here a few years back now about how my parents are fairytale like to my children. This can be a lovely thing. Over years I guess and with each telling stories are embellished,not wholly accurate details are added and stories and tales we tell about my parents probably aren’t an absolute true reflection of events.

This picture here I remember that day ,my brother and his wife had brought us Easter eggs , the one in my hand was a buttons one and I remember my mam saying how we had too much chocolate and we had to just have a bit . I remember the feel of that bloody awful sofa and itchy cardigan.

I think that’s probably the comfort of time passing ,the pain of grief lessens and chatting about people no longer here keeps their memory alive and in our thoughts.

That said , sometimes even time can play little tricks on your mind. Last week I was at the shops and I noticed some Christmas stock in the sale. It was sets of kids crockery : a plate , bowl and mug that when you stacked up made up a snowman. I had a total nostalgia flashback of a similar set I had as a kid. An immediate thought flickered into my head “I’ll have to ask my mam about that” 

Where the hell did that come from??My mum died nearly 19 years ago!!!

Maybe that’s what the story telling does? Keeps them in mind to the point odd things like that happen.
Freaked me out a little bit I can tell you.

All these thoughts of the stories we tell got me thinking.

I wonder what my children will tell about me in years to come. To their partners,their children,their grandchildren??

What memories will they share of their childhood?
Scary thought!!

I can imagine one of them trying to cajole THEIR child into their uniform for school against a protest of whinges and telling them to think themselves lucky as once their mum took them to school on inset day!

Or cooking dinner for their family recounting the time I made pie but forgot to put greaseproof paper under the baking beads resulting in a baking bead encrusted pie base….yum!!

Will our board game Friday’s get a mention??

The fact I make the best chilli known to man?!

Which days out will be remembered?

Which bits of birthday and Christmas traditions we have now will be passed on to take place in their own homes 20 years from now?

The thing is , as modern parents, there is so much pressure to be #makingmemories of us #livingourbestlife full of #preciousfamilytime and being oh so permanently #blessed . I’ve a feeling though that all our contrived memory making won’t quite pan out (annoyingly) It’ll be the little details ,the almost missed moments that are remembered and taken to heart by the little ones . The disasters and blooper reels of our family lives that are reminisced and laughed about.

There are probably events and memories that my parents would have expected to be high up in things to tell the kids about that I never have.

I barely remember any specific presents I got for Christmas (bar my Big Yellow Teapot – that was awesome!)What I do remember though is that on Christmas Day we used to pile into our parents bed and drink tea before going downstairs to open presents , my dad taking fairy steps to drive us nuts with anticipation.

I’ve no huge memories of days out but I do remember the day we all walked all the way to Hornsea (and back) my sister and I whining and wailing all the way home – I tell that story a lot! 

I don’t remember my poor mam cooking tea day in day out so much as I do my dad’s Sunday Dinner , on the table for us when we got in from our grandma’s ,eating it with the rugby on the radio in the background. 

Really I guess when we’re no longer around all we are are the stories other people tell about us . To me that feels quite powerful. 

To quote The Doctor (anywhere I can shoehorn in a Doctor Who reference the better but it’s actually apt here) 

“We’re all stories in the end .

Let’s make it a good one eh?”


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My parents are a fairytale to my children 

Both of my parents had passed away before my children came along. They’ve never had grandparents provided by me. They’ve no happy memories to share, no stories to pass on to their own children like they have with their grandparents on their dads side.

The effect of parenting without parents on me has, at times, not been pretty. There was always a feeling of inadequacy that I couldn’t give my children the loving grandparents they would have been. I know this is irrational, as irrational as the anger I’ve felt towards my parents at times for not being around. Emotions can be irrational and nonsensical though can’t they, especially when you throw in grief to the mix.

Added to rage and inadequacy are a whole other range of feelings I’ve experienced as a mum without parents.

When the children were babies I had moments of despair where I hadn’t a clue what I was doing and I just needed my mum around to ask what the hell I was meant to do about colic!

I’ve felt jealous of people who did get to spend time with my mam and dad, who got to know them and be loved by them when my children never would.

I’ve been envious of other mums who have their parents to lean on for support and speak of how they don’t know how they’d manage without their help.

I’ve done IT’S NOT FAIR like a toddler.

These are all fleeting feelings though. The only emotion to stick around for the long haul is a sadness. It is really sad that my children never got to meet their grandparents, it’s sad we’ll never get to see how those relationships would have turned out and developed.

My children know of their grandparents though.

My house is full of old photographs, some of my parents. They’ve been up in the house as long as we’ve lived here. They’re familiar to the kids. They’re part of what makes up ‘home’

Mainly though, my parents are fairytales to my children.

They’re a series of stories I tell and repeat.They are faces in the photos.

When I talk to the kids of how my mam made the best pattie and chips and attempt (and fail) to recreate it they’ll giggle at how they hope hers was better.

When youngest boy is watching Only Fools and Horses or Fawlty Towers (he bloody loves them! ) I’ll tell him how my dad loved them too and find particular episodes he’d made me watch with him.

When the children and I are carrying out our little family Christmas rituals I chat about what we used to do as kids. Through the years we’ve incorporated some old traditions into ours (post lunch board games and Christmas day buffet tea for example) and that always makes me feel there’s a connection there.

Maybe being a fairytale isn’t so bad, maybe being a familiar character in a familiar story has an endearing charm of it’s own.

My children never knew their grandparents but they do have memories after all I think. Kept alive in my telling them the stories.
After all, fairytales are magical and familiar and comforting and if that’s how the grandparents they didn’t meet feel to them then that’s a whole ‘happy ever after’ of its own.

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Musings Of A Tired Mummy