|My mother and me--clicked in Singapore, in the orchid garden that my mom loved.|
The first message I got today was from my mom. 'happy mother's day' she had texted. I called her up and wished her the same.
Much is made of Mother's day. Spas declare a 'bring-your-mom-at-a-fifty-precent-discount' offer. Opticians offer incentives for your mother's spectacles. Hospitals offer a free check-up. Card shops scream about gifts for your mother apart from the cloyingly sentimental cards cleverly written to tug at your heart-strings and make you go awww.
But has anyone bothered to ask their mothers what it is that they would like from their children?
Here are three letters written from the point of view of mothers of children in three age groups:
0--12 years : Apple-of-my-eye
13--21 years: My young star
21 and above : The adult child.
Dearest Apple of my eye,
Thank you so much for the lovely card you sat up making for me. It is beautiful. Thank you too for the breakfast in bed that you made with your dad. The mess that you left in the kitchen, the aftermaths of the above mentioned breakfast, for me to clear up is okay. It is after all a small thing compared to the grand gesture.Thank God you don't do it every day. Okay--don't sulk. I was only kidding. I appreciate it. Really I do.
All I ask from you this mother's day is a promise. A promise to put in your best effort in all that you do. It is going to be hard. After all, who does not like an easy path? But I want you to make me a promise that you will go the extra-mile. If your teacher has said that a certain lesson will be done in the next class, make an effort and read that lesson beforehand. Make notes of the concepts you did not understand, and want better clarity on. Read up things related to your topic. Do not only your homework but also a little more. Study hard.
Take part in all the activities that you can, in school. Be enthusiastic. It does not matter if you do not qualify. The important thing is to have tried.
Be nice to people you meet. Be polite. But do not let anyone push you around. Stand up for what you believe in.
I am always with you, every step of the way.
Lots of love
Dearest Young star,
How quickly you have grown! I sometimes just cannot believe that just the other day, you were a baby, needing me for everything. Now, sometimes, it is me who needs you.
You question me a lot on all that I say. And it leaves me exasperated at times, but you know what--I secretly like it. I know you have your own logic, your own way of looking at things, your own ideas. I am proud of that. It shows you are growing---becoming a person in your own right, ready to take on all that the world throws at you.
The choices before you may be puzzling at times. You may not have figured out whether you want to go in for science or an education in liberal arts or many such options. You may be constantly asked "So what career have you decided on?" and you may have no clue. You know what, it is okay. It will come to you. Give it time, and see what you are naturally drawn to. Do not go by peer pressure and never do something just because that's what all your friends are doing. (Yes, the famous phrase which all parents use-- just because all your friends jump off a bridge, will you-- still holds wisdom)
I know you just can't wait to be an adult. But enjoy this phase. It will be gone before you realise.
And yes--please clean your room, make your bed, take your laundry for wash, and please be polite. That's all I ask of you, this mother's day.
Lots of love
Dear Adult child,
Please call me at least twice a week. Speak to me. Tell me about your work. I may not understand all that you do, but I like listening to you.
That is all I ask of you, this mother's day.
I miss you, you know.
Lots of love
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