I would like to think that I grew up differently from other kids my age. While other mothers would mollycoddle or be overprotective over their daughters, my mum in a certain extent, couldn’t care less.
I remember walking to school myself at a very very young age. While she would ask how was my day in school, she hardly bothered about my grades. If I failed, just try harder she would say or if I passed, she would smile and say I did a fine job. She would be more interested in how I enjoyed studying rather than how I fared.
I could stay out late as long as I phoned back. As I grew older, there was hardly the need to ever “report” where I was going. While other mothers would instill a curfew or would insist on knowing the every whereabouts of their daughters, my mum was “cool” with whatever I was doing.
I remember her telling me that should I ever get pregnant (this was when I was <12 years old), to never ever do anything foolish. She would raise the child with me. She was the one who first got me my first spag strap top and encouraged me to wear them when other mothers would chide their daughters from exposing too much. My friends were always envious of me, while they had to sneak out of their houses in cardigans which they later shed, I could walk out wearing spag straps that my mum bought for me. She later told me about her rationale on doing so, she never wanted to have her daughter telling lies to her like the other kids were doing to their parents. She wanted me to share everything with her.
When I stopped going for religious studies when I was eleven (an age where most parents would still be rotan-ing their kids), my mum only said she understood and didn’t say much about the matter. She never really showed much interest in the grades I was getting nor did she ever place any pressure in jobs that I was working.
I think the way my mum parented me was more like a parent leaving their kid near the swimming pool. I could choose to either sit on the sides or I could jump in. I may drown or I may swim finely but it was my choice. She wouldn’t dump me into the swimming pool like how most parents tried to teach their kids to swim. She wanted me to make my own choices instead of forcing them on me.
She always encouraged me to do whatever I like. If I hated a job, quit. Why be unhappy at work, she would say. While I was given the freedom to “roam” in a certain extent, I felt that I hardly strayed. I didn’t find the need to rebel from my parents, I never felt like running away from home or to slit my wrist or do some drama mama stuff that the kids at my school were doing. I guess, when you’re given so much freedom, you hardly find the need to lie/rebel to your parents.
Till now, I am still surprised at how liberal my mum is considering the fact that she was brought up in the typical Muslim setting. Once when we went shopping, she pointed out at some lingerie and suggested that I buy those when I visited Tiger in Australia back then. She also thought I was dating many guys at one time. Which I wasn’t ok! I have a LOT of guy friends. It’s only natural considering the fact that I was a tomboy when I was younger. Hell, my first best friend was a boy!
While I wasn’t strong academically, I gotta admit, I did slack a lot in school as there was no pressure to maintain my grades, I like to think that my relationship with my mother is a fine one. She supports me in everything I do even if she doesn’t understand the decisions I make. Like for this SoyJoy competition, she keeps asking her friends to vote and keeps updating me everyday “That guy is catching up!”. LOL. It’s amusing actually. I didn’t tell her anything about my “blogging escapades” but she always seem to find out. She also rallied her friends to come down to the blogathon to vote for me.
I love her to bits and while she may not be able to provide me with well, many stuff like other parents do, I find that the relationship with her beats everything else.
I don’t know if she’ll be reading this but I’m sure her many colleagues will be reporting to her regarding this entry. (She has spies wor!).
I love you mum. 🙂