It’s that time of the year again when we have to rush to the gift shop to find a mug with ‘World’s Best Mom’ written on it and a greeting card for said mother. Every year we promise to do something great the next year and every year we do the bare minimum hoping that Mum loves us enough to gloss over our below average mother’s day plans. Mum being who she is, says she does not care for gifts and still thinks we’re the world’s best child. You and I are lucky to have mothers like that.
Mother’s day is a highly anticipated day. I click selfies with my Mum, throughout the year for two reasons, a social media post on her birthday and a social media post for Mother’s day. It sounds terrible, I know. This year though might be the best Mother’s day for my Mum because I am not only writing a blog post for her, I baked for her and I took her for a movie. I should mention though that she paid for the tickets and all the baking ingredients. My Mum’s very easy to please, she cries when I call her lovingly on the phone. She is overcome with emotion when she reads a poem I wrote for her one night before mother’s day.
I might not be the daughter of the year, but I still do love my Mum very much. She is overly dramatic, overly emotional, extremely loud, sometimes scary and very pushy but she is the one person I will put up with anything for. That’s because she literally cleaned up after me, dealt with my moods, calls me even when I don’t pick up her calls, never asks for anything and makes every dream of mine come true. No one can be that selfless. She has seen versions of me that are psychotic and terrifying and still agrees to call me her child. I don’t think I’d ever want to be willingly or unwillingly a mother of a child like me. I have given my mother sleepless nights and have also given her multiple anxiety attacks.
I think my Mum’s biggest fear is that I am too naive and the world’s going to take advantage of that. No matter how much I try to prove to her that I am mature she’ll still say that I have a long way to go. She has never given any approval to any of my crushes because she seems to think her daughter is the best catch of them all even if that crush is a really popular actor. She once went so far as to tell me that the actor I was crushing on looks like a frog. If I tell you which actor you’ll think my Mum is crazy. She is really possessive of both her daughters.
She brought up her daughters in a world that had very little faith in her. She fought a lot to get to where she is. The world hasn’t been kind enough to my mother who deserves so much more. The kind of hardships she has seen is stuff that could go down in history books. I understood the meaning of feminism because of her and I also understood sexism because of her experiences. As much as she protects my sister and me, she has allowed us to navigate and fight our own battles. I know at times it would have been excruciating for her to see us struggle but if she hadn’t stood on the sidelines silently believing in us, we wouldn’t be half the people we are today.
She is old-fashioned, sometimes traditional and when she tells me that she had hopes like mine when she was my age, I scoff. I always think of my mother as a sharp, observant woman who never puts a toe out of line. She always played by the rules but she was something of a rock star, being the only girl in a class of men studying mechanical engineering and riding bikes. When I saw her old pictures, I wondered why I got her temper, her anxiety, and her idiosyncracies but not her beauty. Genes are unreliable.
I am my Dad’s best friend. My Dad and I are partners in crime but my Mum and I have not always had a great relationship. There was a time when I disagreed with everything she said and thought she was out to get me. When I grew up and started behaving like her, I realised why she kept bursting my bubbles as a child. She saw so much of herself in me and was just trying to stop me from making similar mistakes. I am really afraid that I am going to become like her one day if I haven’t already i.e. a workaholic, overly concerned and obsessed with cleaning. I guess that’s just in my blood and I have to enjoy it while my nonchalance lasts.
Even as I write this she is hovering asking me to drink my milk, it’s what she would do when I was five. She still looks in my cupboard and asks me to clean it. When I do get around to clean it, she’d have already done it herself. She complains and emotionally blackmails me into giving up the sofa so she can take her afternoon nap, she says, “You make your poor old mother work so much.” She also says the classic, “When you have children of your own you’ll understand.” I am one step ahead of her and say, “Expect grand puppies, not grandchildren.” She still thinks she can convince me otherwise.
So I baked today, but my mother made four dishes for lunch and now she’s going to make a grand dinner. In a way, she is celebrating her own mother’s day. The way I look up to my mother she looks up to her own, who she credits everything to. If my Mum is a tough cookie, imagine the woman who raised her. I come from a family of extremely strong women, whether it’s on my Dad’s side or my Mum’s side. My sister too in many ways has mothered me, there are times when I accidentally call her,”Ma.” She hates it, but I do. I try not to think about it, but I know I have to have something to show for it as well.
The point of this post is to say, mothers are great. The real thing though is, parents are amazing not just mothers or fathers, only if they’re doing a good job of it. I am extremely scared that I am going to become my mother and rightly so. But if I do I’ll be lucky to be even half as great as she is. Happy Mother’s day!