Sunday, February 1, 2009
Mothers and daughters
Love cannot be exerted..the effort shows!!! When I brought you into this world..there was an effort and it showed, when I woke nights to balm your aches, there was an effort and it showed, when I stood watching over your faltering steps and let you fall so that eventually you would learn to walk on your own..there was a tremendous effort not to grab hold of your hand and stop you from getting hurt, and even this effort showed. Were these acts not love then? or maybe you were not watching.
From a tiny girl to a precocious child..is not as long a journey as it is from this precocious child to the teenage years. As I saw you change from the baby whose world revolved around me alone, to a young girl with many facets and friends, from a child who thought 'Mom knows it all' to a girl who felt shy that her mom was a housewife and wore 'not happening' clothes, the road was not easy but had to be taken anyways. Did the effort show? Yes it did..for this time you were watching. Every praise that I uttered seemed 'too little too late' and every rebuke turned into a vicious and deliberate dagger.Yah we had entered the rebellious teens.. you for the first time - eager, delirious, unprepared, uncaring. Me for the second - apprehensive, scared, judgemental and paranoid.
We passed this roller coaster ride and mellowed, I with a heave of relief and you with eyes full of dreams and plans for the future. Somewhere in that ride, we had managed a ceasefire and agreed to disagree on the most important issues of life. I had accepted my lack of' being with the times' and you had agreed to put on an air of acceptance with your prehistoric mom. All this while somehow your equation with your dad had never changed, very surprising but very true.. as always it was a hug and a kiss routine. No interference, no problems.. but moms and daughters.. well that's entirely a different equation. I could watch you fall and get up while you learnt to walk and pride myself at my patience, but every time you even came remotely near a bump on the freeway of life, I was right in front of you with all my signals blaring!!! I thought I was protecting you...I thought it was love..what did you see? maybe you saw an effort..
We fought endlessly on the kind of friends, lipsticks, shoes and hemlines, on appropriate behaviour, on career plans, time and again I felt unable to cope, to deal with my little girl who had transformed completely into somebody I had no clue about... Until finally one day I decided to look at my relation with my mom. It took a while but the answers were all there for me to see and wonder....I had raised hell as well for someone.. who was just trying to love me in a way that didn't probably suit me well enough! I realised all the things that I was doing or telling my daughter now were the exact things my mom told me.. even the tone was the same!! maybe the content changed but the issues were the same.. I remembered then how resentful I had felt of mom.. and I cud sympathise with my daughter, I also understood, though a bit late, what my mom would have felt in dealing with me, I sympathised with her too. Well where did all this sympathizing leave me? Probably with just a wee bit higher level of understanding... until the next issue threatened to bring down the roof on me and my daughter!
As a good Indian mom and housewife, I had always instilled in my kids the admiration and due respect for the sole earning member of the family - their dad! They loved and respected the hardworking and dynamic figure in the household who took on challenges head on, who worked hard and partied harder, who demanded the best and usually got it without as much as a tussle from his kids.. who even now came back from office to be greeted warmly by his wife and kids. Who never felt the tension in the house nor the misgivings of the late hours. A perfect parent, a role model!! For every inch that I fought to achieve with my daughter, he got with a smile at the mere mention of it. Here I ask what showed? his love or my envy?
Now my daughter is a mom herself and through sources I have come to know that she calls me her role model hahahahah - 'too little too late'? No, its pure joy that I feel..to me its love and love alone..can see no effort!! life definitely comes a full circle at some point and with every mom and daughter the circle however edgy does meet at the end!!