Mothers day was spent with my only child out of the house and far away from me.
After being stuck at home for three days ......
.....Sapphire had passed the phlegm-flag over to Love Chunks. He athletically grabbed the baton and won the race. Prize: a heavy cold, peppered with asthma, ear ache and the ability to make the windows rattle each and every time he emitted an explosive sneeze which was often.
Sunday, for me, started at 6am with a full bladder and an already-angry migraine, enhanced by the coughing of LC sweating beside me. Three hours later I tried again, codeined-up to my pounding eyeballs and partly capable of sitting upright in our harshly sunny kitchen. "GREAT, Mum! You're up and ready for your Mother's Day gifts!"
I tried not to wince. Too loud, too bright, too busy, too much movement, wrapping paper too hard to deal with and if Love Chunks sneezes again I think that my brains might finally squirt out of my ears like party pooper strings.....
Her lips touched my cheek so gently. I caught a whiff of Body Shop's White musk, green apple shampoo, peppermint toothpaste and warm Sapphire. The sun shone through her hair. Ineffectually, I tried groping up to get her to stay right there. Lips, touch, smell and warmth, forever.
She pushed back and tapped the packages. "I made them all myself, when you thought I was in my room doing my homework," she beamed.
Now Sapphire doing something secret is like asking Jim Carrey to tiptoe across a waterbed but I smiled and said, "Oooh, I had no idea."
In the parcel was a gorgeous, hand-sewn triangular door stop, "Filled with stones from our garden and yes, it does actually hold open the door," she exclaimed, demonstrating its effectiveness with the zeal of a gameshow hostess. "Look! And I know you don't already have one." Too true.
In a carefully-stitched red satin bag, tied up with a fluffy blue drawstring, were seven sky-blue painted stones. "See, Mum, they're all your favourite things. I mean, that aren't chocolate or Dad, I mean."
Each one was intricately painted with tiny cameos of Milly the dog, Skipper the rabbit, my own name as a chain of daisies, a tulip, rose and some lavender stalks. The detail was extraordinary, and hinted at a considerable dollop of artistic skill and a lot of patience.
"Mum, you're slumping a bit on your chair, I think you need to go back to bed." I weakly agreed, overwhelmed by the burning fire under my cheekbones and of Panadeine's pathetic resistance.
A hurried phone call saw Love Chunks and I hover uncertainly at the front door, crouched in our respective agonies, farewelling Sapphire and handing her over to her auntie and uncle for the day, ready for raspberry picking in Kinglake.
Love Chunks went straight to bed, feverish and aching and I lingered for a moment, kissing each beautiful blue stone in turn before joining him.