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“Only a mother could love ya”

Columnist Nina Reichardt reminds us to send our loved ones a little something this spring.


2qtPgWhen important holidays approach, it’s natural for memories of home to surface.

Christmas, Easter, birthdays – and probably the most dreaded commercially driven Mother’s and Fathers’ day – all require some serious forward thinking. Now, thankfully, for the majority of us kiwi expats our parents are back home eagerly awaiting our safe return. Many are giving their utmost support while watching their precious offspring traveland discover places that they never got to because ‘it was a lot harder back in their day’.

So do we spend our hard earned cash on the extortionately-priced postal system, to give our thanks to those back home? Generally I send a small gift, most likely a keychain of Big Ben or an ‘I love London’ magnet, one of many that they are gathering as more and more holidays pass in my months over here. It was bought to my attention the other week on the UK Mother’s day that we should probably be buying cards now for our own in May. May?!? That’s so far away though, so our ‘She’ll be right’ attitude kicks in and we forget about it… until a couple of days before the 11th of May (yes, this is the date kiwis, so take note). We also need take into account the postage time for our handwritten cards. (Mine will likely be handwritten because I didn’t buy a card in April when it was Mother’s Day here) Is it even worth it to have it arrive a week late for a day that – let’s be honest – your mother would normally get a hug for? The answer is yes.

My parents were there with me before I got on that 30 hour flight over to the other side of the world, nodding at every idiotic idea or plan that I presented. They knew full well it will end in a story too explicit to tell them, or pictures on Facebook that they ‘really did not need to see’. Those mistakes were my own to make and as much as they tried to discourage these ridiculous ideas I have conjured up with my mates, the kiwi traveller stubbornness prevails. They know that all they can do is be on the other end of that Skype call when all is said and conquered. Never an “I told you so”, I usually hear more of a “Well now you know for next time”.

They love me and my stupid ideas unconditionally, which we can all admit is a testing task at times, so do them a solid and love them back. Send a card, key ring or magnet. Parents are generally the ‘it’s the thought that counts’ type. Who knows, it could result in a bag of pineapple lumps in return.