It’s no secret that my Mum and I have a great relationship. It’s also no secret that we have had our EXTREME bad times (my final year at high school was very interesting). But Wendy and I were the outnumbered women in a 3 men strong, 5 person family. I’m the only girl, AND the first born, and with only 19 years difference between us, it is no wonder that she and I have literally grown up together. Although she can drive me crazy (because she has a streak of the batshit insane, and so do I) I think she did a pretty amazing job raising three (only slightly cracked) individuals, and my brothers and I realize how great of a mother she is.
So with that in mind, here are the 5 Ways I will (hopefully) be like my Mum as a mother.
1. I will play with my kids – even in the ball pit.
One of the best things about having a young Mum was that she was always up for crawling around on the floor, she made the BEST voices when she was reading stories. Sure I can remember times when she was like “NO I don’t want another piece of FAKE fucking CAKE from your fisher piker kitchen set,” but then there were plenty of times she had seconds, even thirds of imaginary cake with me.
2. I will answer my kids questions Truthfully (without destroying the magic of childhood)
I faithfully believed in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny until I was 11. My parents have amazing imaginations (I once got a letter from the tooth fairy because I’d hid my tooth somewhere in my room, and one year my dad even mowed the lawn and made deer tracks in our lawn in Kuala Lumper on Christmas Eve) but I remember my first questions about sex being faithfully answered. This led to some confusion as an 8 year old I remember, because I thought Mum had bird eggs in her stomach, and it was just a matter of dad sitting on her to get a new sibling – but it was all soon rectified with the book my parents handed me “Let’s talk about sex.” Patient, thoughtful answers were the backbone of my childhood, and when we were annoying with questions (like the time my brother was OBSSESSED with epilepsy and convinced himself he had it, and used to say “mum mum! if i had epilepsy would it look like this – and then fake an episode), my Mum would make it into a joke like answering every repeated question with “hundred” or “because it’s poison.”
3. I will encourage them to follow their dreams – even if it means they come away with random degree’s and no idea how to translate four years of higher education into income.
4. I will applaud their achievements – hang their pictures on my fridge, share their poetry – and generally make them feel like geniuses. I will be honest about things they aren’t that great at, but encourage them to improve if it’s something they really love.
5. I will never let anything they do shock me – and be open minded about their lifestyle choices.
Even in early high school I was never scared to call my parents if I’d (or my friends on a number of occasions) drunk too much or if I/we was/were lost and drunk somewhere. They would always come and find me. They might have been angry, they might have been tired or worried, or more often than not, amused. Still they would come and get me every time, or pay for the cab when I got home. Sometimes take off my shoes for me when I collapsed in my bed, sometimes take off my vomited-on garments. It is a tribute to my parents that their two amazing sons were raised comfortable enough in their own skin that they could come out in high school.
Here’s to mothers in generally, and my mother in specific. We stretch their bodies, give them wrinkles and sometimes forget to call. But one day we hope to be just like them