A friend to her child, that was, what she’d, become, a safe place where her children can go, when they need to go, like her own, mother was, to her, translated…
That day after supper, as I was, clearing off the tables, my nine-year-old daughter suddenly blurted out, “mom, I think, you feel more like, my friend!”, I stopped what I was doing, and, felt the emotions, taking my heart over, only because, I’d not, tried, in any way, to become her friend all these years.
I recalled how it was, when I was, only ten years old, when my mother gave me a small notebook, the sort of an exchange diary kind, with the writing, “mom is willing to be your, best friend”.
Thinking back now, my mother’s behaviors, were, way ahead of the rest in the realms of, education, and to this very day, I still recalled, that when I saw that line on the diary, I’d felt, that corner within my heart, collapsing, that was, once safe and secure. At ten years of age, I only wanted my mom to be, my mom, not my friend. But back then, I’d not dared, speak of my worries to her, only because, that crying little girl within me, is since, taken care of, by only, me.
This hurt of my childhood, it’d, made me, kept at the role of a mother, after I have two children, even if I’d, derailed from the normal ways of, behaving every now and then, but I’d, still, insisted on, only being, a mother to my children, because I’m worried over the “mother is the children’s best friend” belief, how it might, make my own children feel, helpless as I did. Like how I’d felt then, that I couldn’t, understand how my mother was, showing me more respect, and just felt, like she’d, elevated me to her equal, whether or not I was, ready to be, an “adult”. And, I’d, carried that mind of “no matter how old-school I get called as, I will, always be, just mother to my, children”, on the smaller matters, I’d let them slide, but, firm on the bigger, the more important, things, playing with my kids, but, NEVER tell them, that I shall be, their, friend.
illustration from UDN.com
As I finished wiping the tabletops, I’d come back, and half-jokingly asked my daughter, “Do you think I am your friend, because I’d, pulled you, into, watching the soaps with me lately?”, as she’d helped carried up the dishes and bowls, she shook her head said, “I just feel, that you will, listen to me, to tell me those things I wanted to know, and let me tell you what I need to, get off my chest.”
As I’d heard my daughter’s replies, I’d suddenly noted, that the kids are in need of, being, treated as equals, in genuine treatments of them, and honest conversations, so long as, I’m interacting friendly with her young soul, it don’t matter even if I am, in the limited status of a mother, I’d still, made myself as, someone like her friend, making her feel, respected. And I’d finally, admitted to myself, that I am, on the road set forth by my own mother, only because she was too eager, to get close to me, it’d made me feel I was, abandoned, but actually, she’s, always, my mom.
As I entered into the kitchen, twisted on the knob on the faucet, in the pouring out of the water, I’d lightly told that little girl inside, “hey, don’t cry anymore, your mother had, never treated you like, just, a friend”, just like, I can’t, ever be, my kids’ mother simply either.
And so, this writer’s mother wanted to get closer to her, wanted her to feel safe with her, that’s why she’d told the writer, that she is willing to be, her friend, and the writer, being as young as she was, she’d, misinterpreted her mother, and forced herself, to grow up too fast, because she needed her mother to be her mother, but didn’t know how to tell her mother that, until she became, a mother herself, she’d, realized that her mother was not trying to be her friend, that she was, always, her mother, always giving her emotional support, like she’s doing, for her own young too right now.