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THE ‘NETTE EFFECT: Owning my Mother’s Day


Antoinette Connell

THE ‘NETTE EFFECT: Owning my Mother’s Day

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MOTHER’S DAY broke like any other Sunday morning for me.

I was quibbling with my daughter about her making me late for church, again. That may be a mild way of putting it but in any case, we did not go gently into the morning.

I think, and judging from my other friends’ experience, teenagers deliberately slow down whenever you call on them to hurry up.

For that, a couple of times I did carry out my threat to leave her. It is bad enough that you are making me tardy but to show disinterest in my obvious annoyance just won’t be tolerated. So sometimes I’ll speed off, leaving her to make her way to church by a specific time. It is worse still if she is hitching a ride when I am heading in a different direction. I am under absolutely no obligation to hang around fuming the longer she takes.

Perhaps the only occasion when we do not go through this ritual is when it comes to flying. It is clear that the plane waits on no one so there is no debate about when to be ready or when to leave.

I try to avoid a repeat of a situation where one day, late for church again, I strode in with my Bible firmly grasped in one hand and my handbag clutched in the other, and made my way to a pew where I would have few toes or bags to trip over. I realised that the pastor was into a full-blown speech about punctuality and late-comers.

For some, that would be enough for them to slink into the nearest seat but I didn’t. I felt the eyes boring into me but I kept on so much so that one colleague asked me later if I didn’t hear what the pastor was saying. I said I did, but what could I do at that stage, cower into a seat?

I was still late and smack in that unforgiving aisle of the church.

Uncomfortable feeling

Being in that aisle can be a most uncomfortable feeling for a lot of people and more so after an altar call is made.

It is okay when the man of God makes an appeal to come forward and be saved or renew your commitment to God, and you stand and start to make your way to the front. But somewhere

in there as you stand to head to the front, he/she starts to shout for the liars, rapists, thieves, adulterers and fornicators to come and you, caught up in the throng, have no choice but to keep moving forward. Suddenly you start to feel very awkward as though everyone has pinned every last sin on you.

But I have strayed from my Mother’s Day story. The day ended much better than it started.

My friends, mothers and mothers not, met me for my church luncheon at Carlisle Bay Centre. Sam, a mother of two, oddly enough turned up alone bent on enjoying the day. I don’t know if she fully appreciates the concept of Mother’s Day – or maybe she does.

Later she got a call from a suspicious J wanting to know what luncheon lasted four hours.

But it did truly last four hours, giving the majority of those attending time not only to eat but to indulge in water sports. For a few lazy hours I joined Sam in owning the day.

This morning it’s back to same old routine.

• Antoinette Connell is a News Editor. Email [email protected]

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