You remember the time when I fractured my hand after falling off the tricycle, I remember it too, I remember your face that day. I remember how you were scared but still told me to be strong and everything would be alright. You are my only vivid memory from that day. And every single time there on, you showed how it was possible to be terrified and strong at the same time. I also remember another day very clearly, the day you got angry with me when I had stood first in class, your problem was the fact that I did not attempt some questions that I knew the answers to because I was bored to write them. You know I remember that day, I have told you so many times, what I haven’t told you Ma, was I saw the disappointment in your eyes.
I remember you taking me to play every day, and how we would wait for Dad, before coming home together. I remember being the naughtiest kid around, and I remember some of the pranks I played and the innumerable messes I made and the fact that you and dad never showed me how irritated you were. I remember you never leaving me alone or ignoring me. The stress of the day never showed on either of your faces, Ma. You see my memories of those days are not of the hardships. I don’t remember the struggles or the pains. I know how difficult those days were now, but they were the best days of my life. I remember being happy, being satisfied and being loved. I had everything I ever needed and that was enough. You taught me that.
I was always different, shy and confused and my indecisiveness always leading me toward one mistake after another. How hard must it have been for you? I realise now why your first instinct from then on became to shield me. When every small scrape or fall could cause you enough heartburn for a lifetime; you would have nothing left, had you let me make them all. And I never wanted to do the things the rest of the girls did, how I must have frustrated you then? But you were always strong, and mostly let me be. And for that a big Thank you.
And should I even begin to talk about the teenage years, well I guess they still haven’t ended for us, have they? The little petty differences, the many times we get exasperated with each other; we just seem to be at loggerheads always. The fact that I was a loner and mostly never got along with anyone, the fact that even a little bit of wrong irks me and I can never stand for it, very few people understood that, very few still do. Except that you celebrated it, you made me realise that being different does not mean you are wrong or a snob, even if the whole world says so.
But secretly you worried a lot about me and still do especially now that we have S in our lives. You treat him with even more love and care (if that is possible) than me. I understand that worry now more than ever. I also understand the unconditional love and the importance of setting the right example. I understand the pressure and the guilt, I understand you. I also understand how hard it was raising me, giving me the freedom to have opinions and views, even when they did not conform or came even remotely close to being what you wanted for me.
Mom I just want to say, I am fine and I am happy. Please stop worrying senseless about me. I know easier said than done, but do try. Also I don’t know if you have realised this, but I think I am like you in more ways than I thought. Every time I go behind S yelling asking him to do things, I remember you doing the same a few years back. I actually hope he does not begin to answer me the way I do you. But I think all will be fine. After all I learned from a great teacher.
Would I do things differently, nah, maybe not much. I think I have had it pretty good. I get to have an opinion even when it disagrees with everyone around. Not many people can boast of that. You are a perfectionist, and I am lazy and mostly we are poles apart. But what we have is far better than perfect. All the imperfect pieces adding up to form a perfect life. And that is all that matters in the end.
Love you always,