We’ve done this. Since social media, we’ve openly said our thank you-s and sorry-s to our mothers. We’ve openly admitted to our mistakes and given her the due credit for we are everything we are today, cause of her. But have we ever written her down a list? A list of memories that are etched to our souls? Tiny, nitty-gritty things that may seem insignificant to someone else, but make you see your mum in a whole new light? Those moments, which you’d never trade for anything in the world?
So here’s a list of my memories, of my mum and me, which we’ve seen each other through over the last 20 years.
You always complain that we hardly ever remember any memory of yours from our childhood. Sounds weird, but we should right? After all, you remember everything about us, don’t you? It’s probably just that I fail to string in together sane sensible sentences, when it comes to talking about you (funny I go yapping around everywhere, all the time otherwise!)
Until now you reminded me of my days as a kid, so this Mother’s day, I’ve made you a list of 10 memories I’ll always remember you by.
1) Tough woman in the big wide world:
Remember that day back during my schooling, I asked you a question that bugged me for so long? “Mommy, every girlie’s mommies are around for dance and pick them up from school every day? Why don’t you do the mommy things? Daddy only does the daddy things!” You were basically setting your career back in India then. You just smiled and patiently answered, “The world is soooo big sweetie. Sometimes, mommy has to be both, mommy and daddy.” I just knew that you worked hard back then, rushing back from work and making it that exactly a minute or two before to the PTA meetings. Now, when I look back, I realized. It’s a hard thing, to be a tough woman, in this big wide world. Nevertheless, you did it superwoman!
2) I remember the time when someone asked you “Don’t work so hard. It’s not like your kids are being deprived of anything”. You’d just looked at us, and say “They make me so happy. I want them to have everything I didn’t have or had to struggle and fight for.” The way I see it, you’ve done so much more than one could’ve asked for. I hope that one day, I’ll make you proud. Because I’ll pass onto my next life, trying to every repay the things you’ve done for me.
3) Mommy love:
When you came home late, you’d assume I was asleep (well, school nights). Gingerly lying down beside me for a moment, you’d kiss my forehead, and hold me close to you and then tiptoe out of the room. You thought I never knew. Here’s the thing, I did. And that was my goodnight kiss.
4) Taking a stand:
I remember feeling a bit left out at school. Or being teased. I’d come home, and cry bitterly. And every time I told you about it, the one thing you’d always say was “If something’s wrong, learn to take a stand. You can’t go down without a fight now, can you?”
5) It’s okay to be emotional at times:
Well, you might not like this, but yes, I’ve seen the stress skittered across your face if you ever were called to the principal’s office because of me. I’ve seen you get misty eyed, when I’d say “This is not fair! All their mums will be around, except you.” I feel the pinch right now to have said those things. They hurt you, at the least. And you didn’t always show it. One thing’s for sure though, I’ll never forget those misty eyes I caused for the rest of my life.
6) That time when I sneaked out and lied about it:
That day is well too etched in my mind. Remember when I sneaked out of the house and returned well past my deadline, thinking you’d not be back by then. Yu knew. Still, you didn’t mention a thing about it the whole morning, until I started flipping around the truth. You calmly sat down with me, and that very moment, I knew. I was caught. You made me own up to my mistake. I cried, feeling utterly ashamed of the fact that I lied; you quickly took me close, and said “It’s alright! Everybody makes mistakes. But remember, even if you make the biggest of the biggest mistakes of your life, mum’s always there for you.” Ironically, that stayed with me. No wonder, I could’ve made bigger messes, but I came up to you for help!
7) Nothing works like a joke between us:
Whether it was the evening 4p.m coffee that we sat together for, or just randomly I’d tell you something funny that happened that day, we had our moments. You’d tell me about some funny story from your workplace or something a colleague said and we’d have a hearty laugh over it! I’d call them our ‘inside jokes’. I cherish having shared such moments with you. Where I made you laugh until you had tears in your eyes. I’m always on a lookout for a moment like that.
8) Hearing you sing and groove to the tune:
You’re not a professional singer, but I’ve noticed how much you enjoy music. How you hum those old songs when you’re writing some report, or when you’re in the kitchen and you’ll try the moon walk, with your saree pallu tucked in one side and a spoon in one hand, tasting the delicious curry you just made. It’s amazing to see the effect music has on people. Or when you’d lay back at the end of the day, put on the music player and sing along to that album of old English classics that Dad compiled for you. Or those days, when we’d have karaoke nights? Nobody could beat you at them! You are a pro at those!
9) Being the cool mom:
From buying the two piece swimsuit for a four year old who ran to her mommy with a magazine saying that she wished she could wear this to her next swimming lesson, to approving my first ever ‘boyfriend list’ when I was a teenager. Well, the list has evolved over time, and I can still picture you, with your spectacles perched on your nose, how you’d look through it and say “You can do better. Your guy must be worth more than the pointers on this list.” You’ve let me have my own set of values to live by, let me make my own decisions ready to back me up for them and even given me advice Facebook upload pictures if I ever asked you! Funny enough, your collection of memes is even cooler than the one I have! They save my life!
10) Damn the world! :
Remember when during an interactive Talent Day, I showed the very skill I had? My chicken dance! While others clapped just because I was a child, you actually stood up and clapped the hardest even hooting and yelling “Good going baby! Yay!” and telling those around you “That’s my daughter!” I waved back at you from the stage, like a mad chicken, with those floppy wings. But who cared. There you were in a formal shirt and trousers with a blazer, at the heights of your career waving back enthusiastically at the child who performed the chicken dance! That’s when I realized, you’ve got to be proud of what you are, no matter what.
And finally thanks a ton. For making that little girl feel like she was on the top of the world. For telling her that she deserved a lot more than she imagines. And of all, whispering in her ear, “Kid, you’ll move mountains!”