There’s no one in the whole wide world like your mum
I intended to write this post a long time ago, as a compliment to my dear and sweet mum, but I couldn’t find the right words. I didn’t know how to begin. I had hard times distinguishing between my very personal thoughts and memories to be kept in my deep inner self and the reflections and thoughts that could be of some interest for you. Until now. Today I have succeeded in making peace with my thoughts and feelings, in sorting them out and talking to you about a subject very close to my heart: the complicity between mother and child and the unique relationship between them.
In the family I grew up in, the roles have always been clearly defined:
– the children (like me for instance) were supposed to always listen to what their parents told them to do or not to do
– the mother was in charge of all the housework and the different chores, the food, etc., she would also spend hours talking to me about nonsense, would check my homework, dress me up for school ceremonies and other important events
– and my father would teach me how to ride a bike, swim and do sports or would spend time with me outdoors (fishing was one of the activities he shared with me), and, as the family man or boss (as he considered himself to be due to his education), he would be the one to say “no” and put an end to my temperamental whims, but sometimes also to my dreams and hopes; he was the one that made me discover the feelings of disappointment, sadness or rebellion.
Nota bene: This paragraph was meant to give you a broad picture of my childhood memories and background so that you can better understand further on the strong bond that linked me to my mother (and I am sure that exists between so many other children and their mothers).
A mum like no other
My mother, who unfortunately died a few years ago, but who I like to believe keeps an eye on me from somewhere up there, was an exceptional and unique person, judging by the decisions she made, her attitude towards me and her constant support. How many other parents would have stayed up until 3 am because their child wasn’t sleepy although he had school the day after and they would have to go to work the next day as well? Who else would give up buying something they needed to buy you two identical skirts or pants but in different colours because you couldn’t make up your mind? Who else would consciously decide to put their own lives and interests in between brackets for a smile?
But what impressed me the most weren’t all the daily gestures and signs of affection (that mattered a great deal of course), no, it was mainly her character, her strength and her ability not to make any decisions at my place. She didn’t pick the college for me, she didn’t impose her opinions, she didn’t tell me what to do, with whom and when. No. I am profoundly impressed by her intelligence, her strength and her love for me that encouraged her, on the contrary, to help me grow up, make my own choices and learn from my mistakes. She never forced me or tricked me into doing anything, but she never left me alone without any help or guidance either. She always stood up for me, she was always there for me to hold my hand or to talk to me when I needed her to do so.
I would assume that, as any other mother in the world, she would have loved to have me around longer, to see me more often, to have me settled down in the same city, but this desire never underweighted my personal wishes and dreams. I still remember precisely the day when, in high school, I told her the news that I wanted to go study and work abroad, in France to be more precise. Although I wasn’t even major and the formalities to get the visa and leave Romania were not exactly a piece of cake, she didn’t say no to me. I can still hear her words in my mind – I remember them as if it were yesterday because I’ve realised that not many parents would be able to do what she did: at such a young age, she trusted my judgment completely and allowed me to make the decision of my life. I remember her telling me: “Honey, if you are not happy here and this is what you really want for yourself, if you think that you leaving the country is the best thing for you, I will support you no matter what. All a mother wants is her child’s happiness. Therefore, if your happiness or fulfillment is not here, but in France, I will be happy for you and through you and your accomplishment.” She didn’t try to stop me or make me feel guilty about my decision by talking to me about the obvious financial difficulties that she would come across, about the sacrifices that she would make, about the moments of loneliness she would feel. NO. In a very unique and delicate way she told me that she loved me, that she trusted me and my capacity to make the right choices in life. And, with a smile on her lips and her eyes sparkling of emotion, she always supported me: during the year before my departure, when I left, during our Skype/messenger video calls, during our holidays spent together. No sign of resentment or disapproval. And, on top of it all, every time there was a religious or commercial holiday (St. Nicolas, Christmas, Easter, birthday, March 8th, June 1st, beginning or end of the school year, etc.) she always treated me with a gift; nothing was skipped or forgotten.
Today, all these wonderful memories make me smile and make my heart warm and I would absolutely give anything to have the possibility of enjoying a little longer her presence next to me. I would absolutely love if we could cuddle again, if I could look into her sparkling and smiling eyes and fill in my mind and soul with happy and optimistic thoughts and feelings, if I could hear again her voice whispering positive words into my ears…
So, before saying goodbye, I would like to give you some advice: whenever you feel like arguing with your mother and calling her different names, bite your tongue instead and think about all the warmth, the kindness, the love and support she had for you, even when you were wrong or made mistakes. Instead of using harsh words or making an inappropriate gesture that you might regret some day, take a moment to breathe, smile and let her know how much you appreciate her. Because you do. And I am also sure that, if you could find some time to call her or take her out for a walk, to chat with her, even to tell her nonsense about what’s happening in your current life, she would be very happy to share that moment with you. Take advantage and enjoy her presence as much as you can because you will hardly find anyone else to compete with her.