Lest we forget: My boy and me
Sometimes the ways in which motherhood changes you as a person are big.
You give up sleeping. You don’t get to go to the loo on you own. Your jeans never fit in quite the same way again.
And sometimes the changes are slight, subtle, barely discernible, even to yourself.
I had one of those moments on Remembrance Sunday.
I took Sonny Jim over to the service at the Paddocks, Canvey. His grandma is one of the island’s reverends, it’s where I grew up and I sometimes feel the pull of home when certain occasions come around (Christingle is one. Mothering Sunday another.)
And as I sat (thank you to the lovely lady who saw me standing with my almost-3st-slightly-scared-of-crowds-tot in my arms!) I felt a chill that had absolutely nothing to do with the bright, sunny morning.
Not just for November 11: Putting your poppy on your tree will keep our armed forces in your thoughts over Christmas too
So, Remembrance Sunday has been and gone. Armistice Day commemorations have been marked with a two-minute silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
I imagine your poppy is still pinned to your lapel, your coat, or your bag… but as the week closes, what will you do with it? Keep it there, until battered by the elements, it falls off? Will you throw it away? Or stick it in a drawer, forgotten about in the muddle of pens and receipts and long-ago-written notes?
Well, if you’re keen to do something more, here’s a custom I started more than a decade ago, when my poppy fell to the floor of our little cottage.
Poppies and Remembrance Sunday are – in most of our minds – intrinsically linked. Come November lapels without the splash of red look bare and poppy-less people seem to equate to an unpatriotic person.
But where do the 32 million poppies sold and the 100,000 wreaths made every year come from? And just how did they become such a sign of British remembrance?
Say hello to The Poppy Factory.