Meeting Mom

Posted By on April 15, 2013

When we first arrived at my mother’s, she was in the mist of making dinner. We greeted, we hugged… then she went back to cooking and announced that she would set us up for dinner and then go to someone’s birthday party that evening. There would be dinner and dancing, two of her favorite activities. It didn’t surprise me.

I was a little disappointed but reminded myself that she went out of her way to prepare us dinner. If this was what she needed, then I will support her fully.

She surprised me by asking if I wanted to go too. Well, as a matter of fact, dinner and dancing were also two of my favorite past times, but add my mother in there, whom I hadn’t seen in a year, how could I refuse? With the blessing of my generous husband and children, we left.

The birthday was of an acquaintance my mother barely knew. Dinner was almost finished by the time we arrived (it did look good) and there was more Karaoke than there was dancing. My mother sat next to her friends, introduced me and continued into conversation. A wave of disappointment nearly enveloped me. The images of a reunion, sharing stories at the dinner table and taking a stroll by the river all tumbled in the froth, sand and salty waters and pulled out to sea. A familiar feeling returned. One that is reminiscent of Min Yi as a teenager who had been disappointed by her mother so many times that she had given up trusting. So I did what I could do. I went to my mantra:

I will be kind.
I will express my gratitude.
I will be understanding.
I will be authentic.
I will be inclusive.
I will trust in my mother’s positive intentions.
Though, I remember the past, I will receive each moment anew.

I wondered, why my mother would want to come here over being with my family at home? Was she afraid of her grandchildren rejecting her? Perhaps she thought the party would be more fun? Did she really like dancing that much?

I replaced all the judgments with curiosity, so I would be able to know my mother better and not to put her in a box, as I have done before. We were not yet in a place where I could ask her these questions directly… but because I held these questions in my heart with love throughout the trip, they did get answered.

I danced that night with enthusiasm, some with my mom. She had become quite the skilled ballroom dancer. I made meaning out of conversations with people I did not know. I enjoyed watching my mother smile, laugh and dance …  the highlight of my evening.

Meanwhile, cameron and the kids had finished dinner and went for a walk. By the time we returned home, cameron had put the children to sleep on her bed.

About The Author

I am a Chinese-American mother of three boys, parenting with the traditions worth keeping from the East and West. I continue to learn new ways of raising a family and myself.

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2 Responses to “Meeting Mom”

  1. [...] were originally in Cantonese. Translations here are done as accurately as possible.) After the first night, I was a little apprehensive about the 10 more days of staying with my mother. So I vowed, this [...]

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