I HAVE always hated my mother. She scolds me every time I do something which may not always be bad per se, tonly not in keeping with her principles in life. She is a righteous woman, who always conforms with the norm, as opposed to me, who stumbles into trouble every now and then. Do this, don’t do that. I feel suppressed like a dove who scrambles to break free after getting caught.

Fights are inevitable. Although I do not like to answer back, I air my side. And yes, of course she cries. She cries for a hundred different reasons when we fight. Most especially, because she has an aberrant daughter to deal with. Funny, but each tear she sheds is a stab at my heart. I love her so dearly that sometimes, I want to run and hide to safeguard her from all the miseries that I give. Although I say I love her, I still go against what she wants.

It is only now that I have come to realize her importance and understand her way of raising me. In fact, I am starting to be like her in many ways — her paranoia, the way she panics, her sternness, and even the way she talks. Needless to say, I am starting to become my mother’s daughter. I am beginning to understand why she grieves. It takes one to know one, they say.

Since my conception, she has never ceased to care and worry about me. So I have realized motherhood does not stop after nine months of natal care and an arduous childbirth. After the painstaking moment at the delivery room, sleepless nights of diaper changes and breast-feeding follow. And so it begins. Even when a child marries and bears her own child, mothers still do their duties of teaching parenthood and ache after each fall her child makes, doing everything and anything to make sure that the child is alright. A mother may hurt a million times but the love never ceases. It remains constant, unconditional.

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Handaan

I recall my Mom telling me on one of my birthdays that soon I would be living a different life — perhaps more independent, the life of a mature individual, slowly shedding the skins of childhood and teenage. It is now that my mother’s words echo in my mind. And even if I lose her, it will continue to be heard.

Someone told me once, you can only repay your mother if you become a mother yourself. True. I will become a mother one day. Perhaps my child would hate me the way I did my mother, maybe even worse. But if I were to teach my child something, it would be exactly what my Mom used to tell me. If there is one person I look up to and greatly idolize, it is she who raised me to be a better person, she who carried me in her womb and bore me happily in this world. I would never want to be somebody else but her.

I may have hated Mom, but now I understand that there is no greater love on earth than a mother’s love to her child and that hers are the words that come from the mouth and rest in the heart.

To my mother, to whom I have caused so much pain, I am forever indebted. I shall learn from you. The only way I can repay is to be you.

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