When I was a child, my parents were my world. I grew up in fear that one day they would grow old, fly up into the clouds and become angels. I want them to stay by my side, cook and clean for me, fetch me from school, sit beside me as I practiced on my piano, buy new accessories for my doll’s house, and repair my baby dolly so that she can pee without my having to squeeze her little tummy.
As an adult, my parents are still my world. I live in fear that one day they would grow old, fly up into the clouds and become angels. I want them to stay by my side to cook my favorite food, be arbitrator when I fight with my son, walk the dogs when I am on vacation, feed the hubby when I travel on business ( or was it the other way around, walk the hubby and feed the dogs…can’t remember) and tell me stories about my younger days when I grew up in fear of their growing old, flying into the clouds and becoming angels.
Before I married David, I told him that he had to accept the notion that in my life, Joel was number 1, Mum and Dad were number 2, and he would be number 3 after the dogs in my list of priorities. He was new to Singapore, a waif and stray, so he agreed and we got married. He spent the last 14 years of our lives together, being there for Mum and Dad, fetching and sending and running errands for them, like a good son-in-law should. It made me extremely happy when he did all that.
Mum had always told me before I had Joel, that if I had a son, I would actually be bringing up a man who would one day be taking care of another man’s daughter. If I had a daughter, I would have a daughter for life who would love me forever, and would live in fear of my growing old, flying up into the sky and becoming an angel.
A Son For Life?
When Joel entered nursing school last year, he had put his heart and soul into the course after his initial misgivings about being “Gaylord Focker”. David and I made every effort to ensure he stayed on track, encouraging him all the way, and appointed him our personal private nurse at home. On days when I didn’t cut my finger while peeling an apple, he gladly volunteered to be the personal private nurse to our dogs. They didn’t seem to mind the exercise of running around the house, away from his stethoscope and blood pressure monitor.
Not too fond of examinations, Joel struggled through the stress of burning the midnight oil during the nursing examinations. He was not particularly fond of pharmaceuticals – frankly how difficult was it to spell Aspirin?
So like a good mother, I made sure I stayed up with him, blogging into the night, like I am doing now, while he practiced how to spell the word Aspirin. I even made tea for him, made late night sandwiches and prepared other snacks for him, made sure he was well fed and watered while he studied. David even did the dog-walking and garbage-throwing duties during Joel’s examinations.
Our display of parental love and commitment surely must be exemplary.
And what did the boy do?
A Boy Lost
This afternoon, Joel texted me with this cursory note, “Passed Exams.” I was ecstatic! I told him how proud I was and how wonderful that his hard work paid off, and promised him a wonderful weekend of treats.
Then as I was checking my FaceBook newsfeeds, I spotted Joel’s post on his status update. A proud declaration rung seemingly loudly across his FaceBook status “Passed all my modules for year 1, semester 2. Got my girl to thank for pulling up my Human Bioscience grades…if it wasn’t for her constant nagging and dragging me out to study on weekends knowing that I’ll most probably be slacking away at home, I think I’ll be seeing myself re-sitting the year 1 exams again. Bravo.”
Bravo indeed. My own son forgot for that moment, how much effort, prayers, hope and sweat his Pops and Mum had put into ensuring his success.
We were gutted.
But We Are Still Here
Like a good mother, and like my mother before me, and her mother before her, I will still walk beside my child throughout his journey through life, unscathed by such lack of consideration for our commitment and love as parents. Parental love is unconditional, I was told. However, from time to time, I wished he would tell me he lived in fear that I would grow old one day, fly up into the sky and become an angel.
About the writer:
The writer of this blog post is a 43 year old mother of one, who spreads her time between her day job as a marketeer at a financial institution, her hobby as a certified professional tarot reader and numerologist, and her family which includes a 19 year old son. She's married to a Scot who has been affectionately called "The Crazy AngMo" and prays that he does not find out that the term when translated, has labeled him as a "Ginger Head".