Tuesday, February 08, 2005

I remember back then, as a kid, the beatings I used to get from mom and dad. Mom will use whatever catches her attention. It could be the the feather duster, the toilet brush, the broom, anything really. Dad fancied his leather belt. We used to fear the belt. That hurts. It left red streaks on our thighs or buttocks. But we were naughty then. Along the way, I told myself "This is not how I will discipline my children".

I remember being a rather smart kid all through most of my primary school years. However, I messed up big time at the end of the first term in Primary Six where I came home obtaining position number 25 in class. I have always been in the top three to five in the class. Mom got very angry and threw my school bag over the gates and out onto the road. I sat by the roadside crying while picking up my brown exercise books and the textbooks which were scattered outside our house. She said to me "If you don't want to study, don't bother! Throw everything away!" I told myself, "This is not how I will impart to them the importance of getting a good education and good grades".

I remember the things she used to tell me about her in-laws (she still does today!) and I felt the anger and the hatred she harboured for them. I can't say who is right or wrong in this whole misunderstanding and I'm not one to take sides, not in matters like this. However, I told myself "I will not be like mom to harbour to much hatred for any particular person - it will make me a sour prune".

I remember many a things, and I also remember telling myself many a times "Ooohh.. Better not be like mom in this manner". Don't get me wrong - I love mom! I love her to bits and pieces! But I may not agree with all the things she says, or do, or the way she thinks. That don't mean I don't love her right?

So anyway, this afternoon Dad said something which spurred mom into one of her fighter-cock moods. She spat out a whole string of verbal insults which resulted in a heated argument. I sat there biting my lips, not knowing what to say. Mom was definitely at fault. Dad was trying to be nice. Along the way, not being able to take more, I said some rather hurtful things as well, and then ran up to my room where I hid for a few hours.

Last week, I had an argument with Al. It was uncalled for. It was me being in my fighter-cock moods while all he did was try to be real nice. I spat out a whole string of nonsense which I admit, was rather hurtful and unncessary. We made up the next day though.

I sms-ed him this afternoon - "I now know the cause of our little argument last week!" and hit the send button.

"What is it?" he replied.

"My mother!" I typed furiously.

I wish I can iron like her. I wish I can clean like her. I wish I can cook and bake like her. I wish I can be as strong like her. I wish to master her art of saving and being thrift. I wish I can love my husband the way she loves dad. I wish I will like her, love her children and husband with all her might and do everything in her power and capability to ensure their happiness, comfort and well-being. I love my mom!

But there are also characteristics in her which I don't hope to pick up! She has taught me well - to absorb the ones you deem good and useful, and discard the ones you don't like. And over the years, I've sussed out the areas in which I can learn from her, and also ditched the ones where I think I definitely can do better than her.

But it's hard. She gave birth to me. She brought me up. She taught me. I will be her won't I? It's a cycle that is never going to break! I will be mom!

But yeah, it's definitely in our genes. The fighter-cock bits I meant.

Tomorrow is New Year's eve. Tomorrow I will help mom as she cooks up a storm in the kitchen for her husband and children. Tomorrow I will see the beads of sweat trickle down her forehead but feel the love in her as she stands over the stove brewing magic in the pots and pans. Tomorrow I will take the seat next to her at the dinner table as we sit down for dinner.

May you usher in the Year of the Rooster in good health, and be blessed with prosperity and happiness! Gong Hei Fatt Choi!

Posted by Doreen at 1:15 am