Kids will always side with spoilers. It’s easy to like expressively sweet people, too.
My mother was neither one of those. I found her overbearing, as a matter of fact, because all my aunts seemed like a “fun” mom. Even my grandmother was sweet to me since I can’t even remember. And, then, there was my dad who, since childhood, has sweetly called me “Kulats” (hence the name, Chokulats). I’d smile at stories of cool moms letting their daughters go to parties, sleep over a friend’s house, being okay with their daughters dating or having boyfriends — that sort of thing. I knew it was normal to want those. Plus, my close friends and cousins alike knew what it was like so I always had to get that scarcely given permission to live life, so to speak.
At the back of my mind, though, I knew she was doing what a good mother should. It was dastardly difficult to throw anything at her except to lighten up. But that’s how she was.
Then, came my struggle to gain independence. It took a great deal of explaining, effort, and time and it wasn’t easy that both my parents didn’t want to let me go out into a world that’s arguably dangerous and cruel. And I was no longer a teenager. Needless to say, I wasn’t really fond of my mom, still. But, I was already impressed with how she’s handled being a mother to four. My father never really had a lot to say against her. He is my mom’s biggest fan. And I have to admit that he’s one of the reasons I appreciate my mother more now.
So, how was I finally knocked to my senses? Getting a crash course of independence and simply gaining maturity.
Here’s a list of what I like and what amaze me about my mom:
1. She’s an intelligent woman. Having a chemical engineer for a mom certainly has its perks. She warns us of harmful contents of products — from food to cosmetics. She serves food with the right amount of nutrients and less toxins. Taught me the value of NPK from leachate (wow, I still remember my high school science project!). She’s my go-to person for math problems. She’s my grammar teacher, too.
2. She’s a wise spender. My father has always bragged about how he’s never met anyone so good at saving money and anything that’s got to do with finances. He said it was through her skills and hard work that they bought our own house after a short period of time, put all four of their children in good schools and universities, and always have money ready for emergency cases. My parents admirably have great trust in each other in this department. It’s something I’ve observed growing up.
3. She’s got high standards. As simple as she is, my mother is very difficult to impress. Though she didn’t like the fact that the university I was about to go to was two hours from home (thus, I had to live in an apartment), she liked that I was going to UP (her father didn’t allow her to study in UP because there were a lot of student activists, then). It’s only recently that she gave me that nod when it comes to my fashion sense. For years, she’s painstakingly asked me to dress more womanly but I just really felt lazy. It’s no surprise she likes my stylist/best friend now! She keenly observes who I spend most of my time with and since she’s a woman of few words, EVERY observation she blurts out loud is already a glaring indication of what she thinks of this person (and whether she likes you to continue hanging around with this person or not). She never outwardly said, “Avoid this person”. Same goes for girls/boys her four kids date or have a relationship with (it isn’t the same for the daughters, believe me). I’m glad she hasn’t said anything alarmingly against the people I’m with. It’s safe to say she approves of them.
4. She’s very responsible. As a mother, as a wife, as a sister, an employee, a daughter, a citizen. Back then, I just thought it was normal that she won’t go to work if one of us was ill or had a PTA meeting or had an important school event. Mom was present in all those. Moreover, she consistently checked on us — our grades, assignments, our uniforms, school projects, our lunch boxes, our allowance, our school bus, if we were still up late at night, etc. She was always on top of things. Very organized, if I might add. Observing other moms had taught me to value this blessing. Plus, I’ve never heard my dad complain about not being taken care of.
5. She’s always calm. My mom seemed like she’s always prepared and wanted us to avoid cramming and rushing. She works fast and gets the job done. My relatives and two closest friends have been amused at her reactions to different scenarios. She’s got real cool quips, too.
6. She taught us well. I believe the greatest testament to how effective your parenting was is by looking at how your kids fare in life. All four of us have graduated in college (though she’s still pushing us to get higher education). All of us are working. We had a few bumps along the way but I can honestly say we’re all handling it properly with time (compared to our peers and those our age, at least). And, like what my aunt and grandmother said, we’ve all grown up to be decent, mature individuals who my mom can be proud of.
Well, I sure hope my mother’s proud of me. Cause I’m ever so proud of her. And I love her dearly.