I realised the other day that in a month my Mom is turning 60. I know it’s going to sound very childish but honestly in my head my Mom has always been 45! She’s always that strong lady that used to chase me around the house when I was being a brat.
In that moment a vision of my Mom before and my Mom now appeared next to each other and I became fully aware of how much she’s changed. It’s funny how change happens slowly then years later you look back and it’s suddenly dramatic.
I feel like a monster sometimes because I live away from her. When I left home she used to call me everyday. She dropped at least 7kgs after not eating properly all because she missed me. Then earlier this year my brother left as well and she’s been feeling lost ever since. I think she’s used to being our Mom that she forgot who she was before that. Motherhood defined her for so long that when we both left she was blue because she couldn’t find anyone to care for.
When she was in Dubai and the night before she left, she snuck into the living room to talk to my flatmate. She told her to look out for me because I may appear cold sometimes but I am a very emotional person. When my friend told me that I was moved by the fact that she wanted to assign someone to look after me and to make sure that they know me well! How can I not feel like a monster for living away from her?
I know for sure that when parents grow old, they hate the most the feeling of their children not needing them anymore. I used to feel that with my Dad. He was in his seventies when I was just a teenager and I could tell he was frustrated that nobody needed him anymore. He used to stay up with me at night when I was studying and at times he used to ask me if I needed help with something. He spoke English very well so I used to hide my math assignment and tell him that I’m having trouble with some serious English words. His face used to light up every time I did that. So I thought maybe I have to show Mom that I still need her in some way. I started calling her asking her for new recipes! need I say more?! Her voice was full of excitement every time I talked to her. She even started throwing in some extra tips for storing food and feeling proud that she’s giving me the secret ingredients for some of her amazing dishes!
But I didn’t think that was enough. I mean let’s face it I only get this surge for cooking once a year and it lasts for a month. I really had to think about something else.
Then it hit me. She is just being a Mom because that’s what she’s used to. She’ll always be a mother but she doesn’t have to be only that. If she forgot her old self then maybe for her big sixty I should just remind her. I need to remind her of what she used to do and encourage her to do it again. I want her to be able to redefine herself without me or my brother or anyone else. She is a brilliant person and I want her to know that.
So that’s my mission for now and I suggest if your Mom forgot who she is through being your mom maybe you should remind her as well.