Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Unfathomable Species Called Mothers

Mothers! They seem to defy every rational or logical conclusion that I have drawn about human behaviour in general. It's almost as if they don't belong to the same species as the rest of us.

For one, I believe (as you may have read in a previous post) that every relationship is a give-get transaction, not necessarily material. And still there are times when I can't understand why my mother gives me so much when I seem to be giving very little in return. Starting from the financial support, right up to the back massage when I am tired, to the comforting hug when I am scared and the hot cup of tea when I am studying for an exam, my mother has always been the giver in our relationship. I am twenty-two, and she still makes sure that I've had my breakfast on time. I know I am always in her prayers, and she makes it a point to call me even when she's on a business trip, however inconvenient it might be.

It's incredible the way she knows exactly what is happening in my life, although she barely spends a few hours everyday with me. She knows who I am dating, what I want, when I have cried... it's hard... no, almost impossible to keep a secret from her. I mean I can always tell a white lie here, and hide some facts there, but at the end of the day, I know she knows; and she knows I know she knows.

She's been my best friend, confidante, role model, caretaker, teacher. She's the only one person I know who will give up the leg piece in the chicken for me. Seriously, who does that?

Obviously, I am grateful for having a person like her in my life, but in a strange way, it scares me. It scares me when I think about what kind of mother I will end up being. I can't imagine giving up a leg piece for someone else. I'd probably just buy more leg pieces; but in general, I am a selfish person. I think primarily of myself, and believe this to be normal human behaviour. I am self-involved and unobservant and inefficient... most of my close friends will confirm this. And while those things may not make too much of a difference when I play the role of a friend or an acquaintance, I know it's almost all that will matter when I play the role of a parent. To make matters worse, I am insensitive. Not that I don't help people, I just don't realize when someone needs me... that probably has a lot to do with being self-involved.

I do love children, especially those related to me like my cousins and nieces and nephews. I share an amazing bond with them, and they seem sufficiently fond of me. But those are people I meet once in a while. My biggest fear is to end up being a mother who is so caught up in herself, she can't be all that her mother has been to her. It will be a shame after having such a wonderful example to follow.