Friday, May 05, 2006


It's good to realise that one of the women I admire most is my own mother.

This is not to say that Mum and I have some sort of cloying, mutual-worshipping relationship. We are quite different personalities, and sometimes we frustrate each other. It is never very much, though, and never for long.

Earlier this week, Mum stayed at our place overnight. In the morning, Fatty reported to me solemnly that the car I usually drive had a flat tyre. Fatty was running late for work, but he offered tentatively, "I guess I should change it for you now?" I motioned him away with my hand, " No, you go. Mum and I will change the tyre."

I don't know whether to be proud or ashamed to admit that I have never changed a tyre unassisted. I am a feminist, and have always aimed to be a woman who is independent and self-sufficient. However, every time I have bravely and briskly begun to change a tyre, a delightful MAN has come along and changed the tyre for me! In general, men in Australia are quite gallant, in a flannel-shirted, beer-drinking sort of way. They may be sexist and macho at times, but they will always stop to help someone in need. I believe in encouraging this honourable behaviour, so I have never turned away a knight in shining armour. Also, it is much easier and faster than doing it myself. So much for my independent streak.

After Fatty tore off in his hatchback, making haste before I could change my tyre-changing mind, Mum and I headed for the flaccid-tyred car. First step - loosen the bolts. I stepped up to the fray, because after all I am 25 years younger, and I lift weights in the gym, OK.

Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngh. Oooooff! Unnnngh. Uh!!

After much straining and striving, I had 2 of the 5 bolts loose, but the others were holding fast. Mum slowly moved into position. I didn't see much point. After all, if I, Superstrong Jelly couldn't loosen the bolts, what hope would a grey-haired, ancient.....HUH?? Mum performed the whole operation with brains as well as brawn. She held the tool (don't ask me the name of it) at the horizontal, so that she could lever her weight onto it; she bore down with her body and her farm-strong arms, and BEHOLD the bolts loosened. Wow.

This woman, my mother, has been a kind and accepting mother to her three children. She has worked as a special education teacher and achieved success with children who no other teacher had been able to help. Mum can sew (she made the Senior Formal dresses for my sister and I), she can knit (she recently made throw rugs for all three of her children's homes), she can cook anything and everything. Mum can herd cattle, repair water pumps, plant trees. She paints, she concretes. Mum is involved in community charity groups. And now, she changes tyres for her daughter, too.

My hat is off to you, Mum. You are the quiet achiever, but I've noticed, and I couldn't be more proud.


Anonymous said...

Horray For MUM!

TUFFENUF said...

Our Moms are the strongest people we know when we are kids. By the time we are grown we sometimes forget all that they can do. Hats off to your Mum! You spell "tyre" different than we do here in the states. I love reading your stories!

Flossy said...

Go JellyMa!!

I'm with you Jelly, I'll let a man change my tyres any day, rather than do it myself!

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Your mother must be reading this post with tears in her eyes and appreciation for the recognision that you have given her.
Your mother is like my husbands sister, who can do EVERYTHING well and is as strong as an ox.

I congradulate you two for the tire chance...that's one thing that I know how to do, but have never had to do either. I was once on the highway trying to change a flat tire, when an 80 yr.old man stopped and insisted he do it...He did a fine job and fast too, but I felt bad that he was doing it because he was so old.

The Four Bears in the Woods said...

Hats off to you and your Mom! Your Mom sounds like a great Mom.

I just can't seem to get the bolts loose to change a tire so I have to rely on someone else to do it. I have a story for you about flat tires. One time I was on my way to work and had a flat tire and had to be escorted to work by a policeman. He didn't offer to change the tire for me but offered me a ride to my work. Then about four of us girls jumped in a car and all of us went back to my car to change the tire.

Anyway just wanted to say I think it is great the way you appreciate your mom and let her know she is appreciated.

Mama Bear

Alice said...

She has hidden strengths, your Mum, in more ways than one.

My father showed me how to change a tyre (which I've done several times since) after my sisters and I suffered a flat tyre on the way home from netball one Saturday afternoon. We had no sooner gotten out of the car and removed the hub cap than 3 cars pulled up and several young men alighted. And why wouldn't they --- seeing four young ladies (aged 15 - 22) on the side of the road, in sopping wet netball uniforms and little else as it had rained all afternoon --- would sometimes bring out the chivalrous streak in any young man, maybe! However, my father didn't feel happy about his daughters being in such predicament again, and showed me how to do the job that very afternoon.

manababies said...

She is amazing, from what you have said. Um, not that I don't appreciate my own mom, but can I borrow yours? :)

John Cowart said...

In the list of great things she does, you forgot to mention that she also writes a fine guest blogger posting.

John Cowart said...

Hi Jellyhead,
Sorry to delay answering, but I didn't read Thursday's comments on my blog till just a while ago after I'd already commented about your mother's many skills...

Thanks for the question you posed in your comment on my blog Thursday; it’s really profound and I don’t have an answer off the top of my head.
This is a problem I’ve worried for years and still I’m not satisfied with my own thinking on the issue. Ginny and I talked over your comment quite a while this morning and we came up with a few other thoughts but I’d like to think it over for another day.
Saturday, God willing, I’ll try a blog post about God’s intervention and the problem of pain and innocent suffering. This is way too deep a subject for me but I’ll give it a shot. OK?
Don’t mean to put you off but I don’t want to be flippant either; I think your question is the number one thing that bothers most of us about Christianity. I know it troubles me too.
And, no, it doesn’t bother me to worry the problem in a public forum but please e-mail me ( ) if you’d prefer a private response. So unless I hear otherwise from you, I’ll post some thoughts about this Saturday.

judypatooote said...

In times of need, we moms can come through.....but change a I don't think I could do that... thats' why I have AAA Autoclub...

T. said...

Wow, if your mom feels like adopting another daughter, one with a Canadian accent, put her in touch with me, would ya, Jelly?

Beautiful post. As always...

shellyC said...

I too have never had the need to change a flat tyre...never had one. Though I would have a go.

Someone I knew once stopped to help a woman who had a flat tyre. He asked her had she ever changed one before. she said "No". So he showed her as he was doing it then took it off and told her to have a go. She got really p...d off and started swearing at him. so he left her there.

Kerri said...

Too right Mate! Hats off to Supermum!
You really do have reason to be proud Jelly. Your mum is just a super person all 'round. This is a funny and wonderful tribute to her. Glad you two superwomen were able to do the job :)
I miss 'seeing' her on your blog :)
My quirky computer is still quacking, then quitting!! Ack! Maybe time to shop for a new one!

doubleknot said...

How wonderful to have such a great role model as you Mum.
Our mother's surprise us sometimes with their knowledge.