When I was a young child, my only wish was to grow up. I would never have to be told what to do again. I’d be able to buy that stuffed toy bear I desperately wanted, play on the swings for an extra hour or even have 10 more cookies than my mother would allow…
In the journey of growing up, I tried my best in everything I thought to be meaningful in hopes of one day being successful and fulfilling my childhood dreams. School, volunteering, music, sports, studying… At this time, I believed by doing so I could prevent myself from growing old with regrets. During this time I neglected spending time interacting with my mother.
It was not until I grew old enough to be considered an adult in this society and met mothers my own age, did I finally understand the many sacrifices she’s made for me. In reality, when she stayed up all night to make sure I finished that Science project in ninth grade, she didn’t have the intentions of forcing anything upon me. And while I fell sick often as a child, she was more sick with worry than I ever was physically ill. All this time she supported me by providing me with more opportunities to pursue more interests, passions and dreams.
But what about her own interests, passions, and dreams?
When my mother was young, she was an avid baker, had a love for history and story-telling and was an exceptional student. I hear from my Uncle that if it weren’t for giving birth to me, my mother would never have left the well-deserved position in a firm she loved so much. At this time my mother would hush him and insist all this did not matter. After all, this was decades ago.
At this point in my life, the one thing I didn’t want to happen to my mother was for her to miss out on more of her own opportunities.
I decided to take the initiative to sign her up so she could instruct a baking class on the weekends. I told her I was certainly more than old enough to take care of myself and it was time for her to pursue her own interests, passions and dreams. To which she replied laughing, “I know I look young but how could you mistaken me to your age?”
From when I was first born, growing up, and even now… all my mother has done is spend all her time on supporting me in everything I did. This day, I hoped to help her revive the opportunities she lost by choosing to take care of me these last few decades.
Seeing her come home from the baking classes some weeks later, I noticed how exhausted she was. All this time I believed that she agreed to go to these classes because she wanted to relive her dreams from the past. Little did I know these efforts were actually for me.
“You shouldn’t be doing this if you’re going to be so exhausted!”
“But you were thoughtful enough to plan this all for me.”
“Because I thought this was your dream.”
“My dream is for you to live happy.”
Although my mother has said so before, it never hit home until recently. I never realized that her single greatest dream was for me to live well, for me to be happy for the rest of my life.
So, today I want to do a little more for myself. A little more to better myself.
Because now I know that living my life to its fullest is not only the best route I can take for myself, but also the path to fulfilling her dream.
I love you, Mom. Everyday should be Mother’s Day.