Mother is scouting the house like a detective, looking for clues to my ineptness as a homemaker. This is an old habit.
When I asked her to babysit for me while I was on vacation, she sent me photos of dust balls that she found in a duct in my bedroom.
She is pushing the sofa against the wall this morning, hoping that she will find the evidence.
“Mom, it’s fine. I don’t have the time, and even my vacuum cleaner isn’t working.
She replies, “Oof oh! Just send it to Juhu Market for repairs.”
She snarls at me when I tell her that the market is closed except for groceries and medicines. How could I possibly know? How do I know?
Since there’s nowhere to run and only the bathroom to hide in, I grab my coffee and my laptop and lock myself inside.
I can see her with a clearer mind as she is absorbed in a game they play with great devotion.
They have almost identical gamer names. My mother considers this a sign of their relationship. She said that she wanted to be Robin, but she made an error and typed Rodin instead because she mirrors letters.
Mothers are not content with a peaceful relationship with their grandchildren. They are constantly at war with their daughters.
There were many times when I nearly had to sit on my hands to save my mother from being strangled. She said that my freshly done highlights looked like someone had poured paan on my head. Although she said it as a joke, her harsh criticism would hurt. After having my children, I understand it a lot better.
Raising a child means that you have to poke your nose at every part of her childhood. Each block is your creation. You can arrange it in any way you like. This is what you do year after year, and eventually, it becomes so routine that you forget that the blocks are hers. She must take the blocks and make changes as an adult. Perhaps you can build a pyramid rather than the rectangular one that you think is an impressive achievement.
Like most daughters, I know my self-worth is based on what I have done.
Perceive as my mother’s idea of me. Every time she gives me ‘helpful’ advice, I wonder if the pyramid I built is not good enough. Does that mean I’m not good enough?
If you are a mother to adult daughters, you will have provided enough information for your children to make informed decisions. The most difficult part about parenting is the ability to not give unwelcome advice.
In this tug-of-war between independence and support, our daughters have to admit that parenting can be a difficult task. While trying to encourage my daughter to be proud of her strengths and build confidence, integrity, fearlessness, and trustworthiness, I also try to throw some vegetables down her throat. However, I am aware that I may make mistakes.
She may one day sit on a couch with a therapist and complain about something that happened to me, maybe once, but which has never been forgotten. She may also tell her partner that 20 years ago there was a quarantine. My mom made delicious pancakes with strawberry drizzle while all the others were doing it. I just had to make some toast with peanut butter.
I hope she will realize that very few mothers are truly awful. Even Home Alone’s mother, who didn’t forget about her child in the first movie, but again in the sequel, was not evil. She was just overwhelmed. Mothers can be imperfect, but we all try our best to make it work, even when we are at our worst.
I would love to offer a toast to all imperfect mothers but I am out of alcohol so I will just pop some bread in the toaster and then wave it over my head.
I watch them from the doorway and continue to observe their conversation about summons, gems, and superheroes. Both of them remind me so much of my mother. In my 40s, I must admit that I look a lot like my mom. I often call my daughter ‘nainzoid’, just like my mom calls me ‘tignashwer,’ when she feels a surge of affection for me.
My seven-year old daughter, who is sharp enough to carve a Thanksgiving Turkey, has many of the same aspects of my personality as I do.
My two most important women are able to cuddle with ease. The generational gap between grandmothers and grandchildren is large enough that they can both reach out with their arms, without the need to smack each other in the face.
My mother sees me and says, “Come sit!” I have no time for you. You are always so busy, only God knows what.
I respond, “Mom, that’s a shit!” It’s hard to say that right now, considering we have been locked in a house since the lockdown began. Actually, I think the last time I spent that much time with you was while I was still in my womb.
My little one quickly snapped, “Don’t back answer Nani!” I keep hearing you say, “Learn how to respect your mom!” So that you can also respect your mother.
My daughter informs us that she has cards prepared for Sunday, her brother will be making a cake, and we will get massage coupons. Mother and I can now relax and enjoy a perfectly imperfect Mother’s Day together.