Today is Mother’s day, and I congratulate myself for saving my sanity surrounded by insanity.
I prepare to bask and revel in the glory of motherhood, congratulate the Indian mother in me for the tender loving care I shower on you, the Tiger mother in me for cracking the whip and taming you cubs to make sure you didn’t lie, you didn’t cheat, and you didn’t break my trust, the American mother in me who talks about feelings, who understands how you feel, and who promises to be there with you, no matter where life takes you.
I loved the first gift of the morning, solitude. Children all over the country are burning pancakes and waffles, but you were kind enough to sleep through my breakfast ritual. I woke up early, made me an egg omelet, and brewed a cup of coffee. I actually ate it while it was still warm, and drank my coffee while it was steaming hot. No one disturbed me. No one needed an omelet right after mine, and no one threw a tantrum that they wanted something else. It was so peaceful. Thank you, for letting me treat myself to a good breakfast.
It took a fraction of a minute to pick you up, swaddled in the soft pink blanket and fall in love, to write poetry about the dream I have for you, to write pages about the relation we will enjoy. But it takes sleepless nights to convince myself that no matter how tall you are, you are still little. No matter how fast you run, you will still need my guidance. No matter how loud that door slammed shut, I need to go right after and remove that door if need be. It is a confusing age, it is a confusing phase. Thank you for letting me keep the copy of “Love you Forever” so that I remind myself, “as long as I am living, my baby you will be”.
“Be the wind beneath their wings, not their airplane.” Your father thinks it’s easy to let the precious children lose in the sky and watch them from the ground. I went through a lot of pain to bring you into this world. I won’t let go of you so easily. I am not guilty of being your airplane as long as I am transporting you to a destination of your choice, not mine. You don’t have to make your own mistakes, you can always learn from the mistakes others make. Mother Superior tells me that you will touch the fire to check how hot it is, even though you understand that fire burns. I don’t smother you, I only try to mother, with care. You can play with fire. I will be on the side, with a bucket of ice cold water, antiseptic cream and a blanket, just in case. Thank you, for letting me be your chosen mode of transportation.
I have an unexplainable pain in my back from the epidural. My stomach has battle scars. My body has changed after I gave birth. I lost me when I gained you. My new identity wasn’t my own, I was your mother. The Bohemian in me was bound to conventions by your arms wrapped around my neck. It was an irreversible change, physically, emotionally and socially. It was hard, to wear the hats, to assume different personalities to let you and me grow together. But thank you, for working with me, for letting me grow up with you, and for shaping your identities that I am proud to be associated with.
This morning Mother Superior called me. “Happy Mother’s Day”, she said, “Thank you for being a wonderful daughter that I am proud of”. I tried reminding her that she is not happy or proud. I am twenty pounds more than her ideal weight of me, the career path I chose doesn’t exactly satisfy the feminist agenda she had for me, and the writings that are self centered aren’t her vision of creativity. “It doesn’t matter”, she said, ”My dream for you will always be different from the dream you have for yourself, or the expectations your husband and your children have from you. You have a dream and you kept it intact, that’s all that matters”.
She continued, “When you were young, you would hold my hand and walk to the market with me. I would tell you to pick any dress and gladly pay for it. When you visited us for your father’s sixtieth birthday, you took me to the same shopping center, and told me to pick whatever I wanted to, and you would pay for it. That was the proud moment. Your career enabled your ability to the pay your mother’s bill, your good relationship with your husband gave you the power to make independent decisions. You bought the same sari for your mother-in-law and that told me, I raised you well. As a human being you have excelled, and I am proud of you. Be like that always.”
I may seem perfect and all powerful to you, but without my own mother’s seal of approval, I am miserable. I complain, I whine, and I tease her for being on my case always, but I am happy she does. I am happy I haven’t disappointed her to the extent of giving up on me. I am actually thankful that she sees me slightly imperfect always, and wants me to fix me. Thank you, Mother Superior, for maintaining the title of superiority, so that I have an example to follow, so that I have someone to lead me.
I will ramble on, there is so much to share, but there will be times, there will be moments for that. Right now is the time to shower and sparkle in the happiest place on earth with you. It will be only so many days before you will enjoy the company of your friends more than your mother’s. It will only be so many days before you will dress in all black, even opting for weird colors to stain your lips and nails. But today you like pink, you like the sparkles, and you still love them princesses without mothers. Let me make the most of it… Let me make memories with you.
Mother in the Middle
Blast from the past: http://meghanajoshi.blogspot.com/2011/05/of-dragon-mother-dragon-daughter-and.html