My unconventional mother

And the top 10 things she taught me

1. It’s perfectly acceptable not to be married. It’s just one less wedding people have to attend.

2. Always be a lady (at least in public).

3. Always put others first (unless it’s in front of a speeding train/bus/plane or similar).

4. Learn as many languages as possible, but know what ‘revert’ and ‘usurp’ really mean. In English.

5. The difference between a cold and the ‘flu (if it’s just a runny nose, then it’s the cold. If there’s a fever and sore throat as well, then it’s the ‘flu).

6. It’s your first day at school, your first piano lesson, your first day at a summer etiquette school in a completely foreign country, and your first time going abroad for college. If you don’t know how to handle all this on your own, now is the time to learn.

7. Keeping the house perpetually stocked with sewing thread, Panadol, Sharpie pens and power adapters will save your life.

8. Attend every wedding, birthday, housewarming, wake and impromptu call with a gift in tow.

9. It’s easier to reverse into a parking spot than to enter headfirst.

10. Unless the deathbed beckons, there’s no reason not to go to school or work, especially not when Panadol, Augmentin and Clarinase exist.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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