it is sometimes surreal to me that i live on the other side of the globe to my parents. i was seventeen when i moved out of home to go to university and in the past decade i’ve only every been back for short stints. in a way, it isn’t so different to my own mother’s journey as she married my dad and moved away from her family to iran, then to france, england, wales, new zealand’s south island and then the north island and now australia…are you tired yet? both of my parents were dislocated from their families so my siblings and i grew up without any extended family around. whether it was destiny or genetic predisposition i’m not sure…but i’ve also forged a similar path for myself. i think that for my children i’d like to break this pattern and to have at least one set of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins near by. or at least in the same continent.
my mum called me yesterday – it’s always so good to hear her voice. even if i roll my eyes when i first pick up because UNFAILINGLY the first part of our conversation will be ‘hi gogo-joon, it’s me. what time is it there darling?’. she always calls around 9pm. but yet she still asks the time. ALWAYS. and it’s always around 9pm.
but your mother, or at least i feel this way, is the one person you don’t have to put on a ‘game face’ for. you can be completely, entirely, one hundred percent yourself. she sees me at my best, she most certainly sees me at my worst. there is no pretence. there is no artifice. if i pick up the phone and i’m unhappy she is going to know, just by the tone of my voice. there is no use in disguising it. it’s that incredible mother’s intuition i guess – that innate knowledge of their children.
there is also nothing quite like being hugged by your mother. that sense that this person loves you unconditionally, wants the very best for you and that you will always have a connection with you. she will be your number one fan no matter what. she put band aids on your scrapes as a child and continues to be a balm to the hurt you encounter today as an adult.
mothers are amazing.
i read a blog titled dooce every day and a lot of insight i’ve gained into what it could mean to be a mother, i’ve learned from the author of this blog, heather armstrong. every month she writes her daughter, leta, a ‘newsletter’ where interspersed with exquisite photographs she describes the things that leta is learning, her idiosyncrasies, and her own experiences of motherhood. without fail the last line of her letters melts even the coldest of concrete hearts. the latest newsletter is, as always, candid, raw and beautifully composed – but this time Dooce outlines her thoughts about writing these newsletters – a response to people who attack her blog, arguing that she is exploiting her child. and i have to champion her at this juncture because i feel like her record of motherhood is invaluable. she is honest, painfully so sometimes, but that is what i love about her writing. she doesn’t hold back or filter. at one stage she suffered from extreme post-partum depression and i was blown away by her bravery. her ability to discuss it frankly and openly with the world at large.
there are plenty of amazing examples of mothers in my life besides my own. i have learned that it’s essential to ‘adopt’ a few in every place i live. they all provide me with strength and love and i’m grateful for each and every one of them. i hope they all know how much they mean to me.
happy mother’s day.