Have you ever imagined the life of your mother before she was your mother?
Say, why has the existence of our mother always felt so close yet so unfamiliar at the same time? Why did it never really occur to me that I never asked my mother about her, as an individual, before? And to think about it, it was not because I was not curious, but because the thought of positioning my mother not as my mother just felt distant for no specific reasons. I have never really thought about the life of our mothers before they were mothers. As if the status of “mother” status is a life term; once you get it, it settles with you for eternity.
The process of getting to know my mother felt so strange until I finally decided to ask questions about her past life. She knows so much about me and I barely know the tiniest details about her. She knows that I like my sunny side up slightly burnt, but I don't even know what her favorite childhood dish is. The realization hit me that before motherhood came to her, she was someone too.
To express love, not through giving a bowl of cut melon, but through words, sentences, and hugs, is a concept that I still could not fully grasp until now. Being the only daughter in the family, I was, of course, the closest to my mother. She is, undoubtedly, the most important person in my life and I will soar across the ocean just to make her happy. But growing up barely expressing my affections, I’m unsure if it was the pride or the unfamiliarity of doing so.
My mother was once a young woman, who was full of dreams and passions. She told me that when she was younger, she wanted to learn English, but it was hard because there was only one institution available in town at that time. She’s not the best cook, she admitted it herself, but she knows a little bit of everything. She liked the Bee Gees, the Beatles, and Queen. I asked what her childhood favorite dish was, she just laughed and said “I didn’t have one, I like everything.”
Today, when I was writing this, was my Mother’s birthday. And today was also the day when I found out that she fancies fruit salad. She told me, she is not a picky eater (and I notice that she always lets me eat her portion of my favorite food even though I know she likes it too) but she likes the freshness of fruit salad, it brings comfort to her. It’s just a fruit salad, I thought to myself, why am I getting sentimental over it? As I grow older, the journey to understand my mother will always be a path I look forward to.
So, have you ever imagined the life of your mother before she was a mother?
Have you ever asked whether she liked the color purple or pink better?
Whether she had a crush on a celebrity before?
And have you ever positioned your mother as merely a person, not tied with the expectations of what a mother should act like?
Editors: Blenda Y., Alisha B., Luna Y.