Mom, I Understand You!

Yesterday I was busy doing something on the computer when my son (almost two years) walked into the room and started messing with the keyboard. This had been happening since I came to stay at my parent's place for the vacation. I'm settled at Chennai and I come here to be relaxed or so I thought. I called for my mom to take my son away for a few minutes while I fiddled with my keyboard.
Mom, I understand you!

Whenever I called for my mother to engage my son while I worked on something else, she would always hurry to take him away. Until yesterday when she was stitching a new dress for me.

"Mom," I said, "Can you please take him for a walk?"

"I just want ten minutes to finish this dress. After that I can take him" my mother replied. But ten minutes turned to thirty and I was losing my patience. I repeatedly kept calling her though I was not doing anything useful.I just wanted my mother to take care of the baby.

At some point I got really angry about her delay and yelled at her.

"Mom, why can't you understand? I come here to be relaxed. If I were to take care of him and do all the work why would I come here? You don't even give me that basic comfort." I complained.

My mother tried to reason with me. " If you share my responsibilities, both of us would have enough free time to do our work. Now since I end up doing everything, I'm on a tight schedule. Even now, I'm in the middle of stitching a new dress for you."

"I don't want a new dress mom. I just want you to take care of the baby." I yelled at her, gave an exaggerated sigh and walked out of the room. My mother took the baby for a walk after that. She did not say anything further but her face fell.

That night I could not sleep. I switched on the bedside lamp and turned to see my mother and my baby. Both were sleeping peacefully. I felt so guilty on realizing that my mother was no ordinary woman but I was forcing her to be one. For you to know the intensity of my guilt, you should know something about my mother.

My mother is fifty years old with the enthusiasm of a twenty year old. She is fond of stitching clothes and writing. She cooks, cleans and washes everyday without the help of a servant maid. She writes two blogs - one in English and one in Tamil which are popular all over the world.She has been into exciting business ventures and is always full of new ideas. Her zest for life is unparalleled as she does what she can for the society in her own small way. For instance, for one year, she taught at the local school without any salary. She conducts tuition and helps under-privileged children with their studies. She reads a lot of books and takes care of our family with so much of love and care. Our family is big and invariably there are guests at our place everyday. She manages the chaos and keeps everybody happy , God knows how! All in all she is a very special and talented woman who chose to stay at home and raise us instead of going to a well-paying job.

I felt guilty because I was forcing her to be an average home-maker whose only world is nothing but her family when she was much more intelligent and capable. I expected her to be a grandmother whose only world was her grandson. I wanted her to fit into the mold of an average woman when she was meant to stand out. I took her for granted and failed to realize her sacrifices I was forcing her to make. If her own daughter would not understand her, who else would. I did not want to change my mother while unknowingly I was forcing her to change and was setting limits to her capabilities citing her age.

The next day, I apologized and explained to my mother. I told her what I felt the previous night. I told her she had always been a special woman and I would help her reach her aspirations no matter what. I promised I would not take her for granted and vowed to work closely with her on household responsibilities so that both of us had time to do whatever we liked. She accepted my explanation with a smile and a hug and just said, "I'm glad you understand."

Sometimes it is very easy to blame our mothers and take them for granted. But to remember that she has  a right to her life and dreams is not easy. We have to always remember that the relationships closest to us need the most work. You are part of your mother's blood and soul. So no one should be able to understand your mother like you do. To appreciate and acknowledge her efforts is the greatest gift any child can offer her mother.

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