Botanica2016 – Role-reversal of a “blooming” aromatherapist.

It was serendipity. At the beginning of the year, Mum told me about a Botanica2016 conference happening in…*drum roll*… Brighton. This was exciting not only because it was focused on botanicals and aromatherapy, but also because my living here would save her over £100 in accommodation expenses. Who needs a gala dinner when you can have Bankers fish and chips and a bottle of plonk from the co-op? We’re simple girls.

Fast forward to September 2nd and while Mum’s away at the Botanica 2016 conference, I’ve been chuckling to myself at the role-reversal she and I have been enjoying. It started with me asking if she really wanted/needed me to go with her to find the place.

Yes. *le sigh*

Okay then. It continued with my buying her bus ticket, warning her not to lose it or she’ll have to pay again, and giving her a bit of cash money – normally the money thing is the other way round, but we only just arrived back in the UK yesterday (don’t get me started on the clusterfudge that was the National Express journey) so mum’s not got all her cash monies in order. We get to the campus and have no blinking idea where the place she needs to be is. I, ever so politely, reprimand her for not calling or looking up where we have to go. Actually, she reprimanded herself with “I should’ve done this before we left” to which I replied with a curt, yes (the most daughterly option, really). After finding out where we were headed, we walk in the rain (balls!) and she says, “thank you and I appreciate you coming with me” numerous times.

You don’t have to say thank you, mummy. You’ve seen me through many a first day. But I didn’t say that to her.

We finally find the conference spot – with the aid of a student who’d clearly taken pity on us asking for directions. He invited us to tag along as he was going our way. And going very bloody fast cuz I was trying to disguise how breathless I was getting. Maybe I’m just out of shape. Yes, probably that.

Anyway, we get to the spot, and mother doesn’t want to go in until the next one starts. I say it’s fine, just go in and park yourself in a seat. “I’m shy,” she says. My mother. Shy? The same lady who pushed a middle school-aged me towards the market stall man to buy fruit and “I’m shy” not being sufficient enough to avoid walking forward and speaking up for myself? Actually, maybe it was Nana who pushed me, but mum was definitely pro this method. That’s okay. I’m not bitter, so I didn’t push mum into the lecture hall. I smiled cuz she was using my line, we waited until the next one started, and I waved as she finally walked in with a big grin on her face.

She wanted me to stay and wait while she attended just one presentation, but I didn’t want her cutting her time short on account of my sitting in the lobby looking bored. I wanted her to enjoy this. Network. Make friends and just be. While I was on the bus home, she text me to say she’d introduced herself to her course teacher, Andrea Butje. *insert thumbs up and smiley emoticons* See. She might have just squirreled herself away in a corner with me instead. Or, she would’ve dragged me along and introduced me too cuz she likes doing that.

I often think to myself that I’ll never be able to repay my parents for all they’ve done for sister and I. I also like to let them know this every parental unit day, so they don’t call me an ungrateful little cow. Mum’s remarked that this path came to her later in life and I’m glad it did. It fills me up with all that sappy stuff to be able to return some of the support I’ve always been given. My mum now has a massive grin on her face and tears welling up in her eyes as she talks about the presentations. The same presentations I had to convince her to stay for.

Yeah, yeah, mum. I’m tooootally listening. Tomorrow I expect artwork and a homework folder.

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