For the past few days, I have been quite busy with some of my works, and I arrived back at home just around 9 p.m. So, my mother would usually just be ironing the clothes, or watching the television. For most of my time, I am quite occupied with either preparing some reports for my work or just hanging out with some friends. There have been very few personal interactions with my mother other than just teasing her or asking her what she cooked today.
When I was young, there were lots of personal times that I spent together with my mother. My mother, my sisters and I would wait for the Chinese TV series Bao Qing Tian at 9 p.m. every night, went together to Happy World for like at least once a month, or went shopping at Sein Gay Har store. These moments were so much fun, especially for those times that we went to Happy World at the weekends. I remembered that her favorite game was hitting the frog to get on lily-pad in the pool and she was quite good at it. Actually, she would just play a game or two and would let us play other games. It always makes me smile whenever I think of these childhood memories.
However, as I grow older, I realize that I have spent less time accompanying my mother. Usually, I would just hang out with my friends, or eat outside rather than staying at home. My mother would call me to come back home no later than 10 p.m., but there were more than one occasion that I have arrived home later than that. My mother would prepare delicious meals for me every day yet there were very few days that I eat all three meals at home.
To make matters worse, the influence of social media makes us farther apart. At some nights, my mother and I would be sitting just few steps away, but we both were just busy browsing through Facebook. The only conversations that we make intermittently are the news that we have found on these social networking sites. However, I am quite more addicted to these social media more than my mom. I spent more of my time looking at my laptop screen than at my mom’s face.
Sometimes, my mom would try to make me a conversation about the news she read on 7 days news, or about the movie she watched today. Yet, I would be quite occupied chatting with my friends on Messenger, or watching some YouTube videos and could not pay full attention to my mom’s words. These times, my mom would have to repeat these sentences to get my attention. Yes, I have been quite distant with my mother for a while though we are living in the same house.
Irony is that my mother and I would spend more time talking when either one of us is traveling rather than when we both are staying at home. For example, when she was traveling to Chaung Tha last few months ago, I would call her and asked her how the weather was, did you feel relaxed at beach and so on. However, when she got back home, we would chat less about the trip. Then, we somehow become distant again.
As for today, it is Mother’s Day and my Facebook newsfeed is flooding with my friends’ photos with their mothers. It is quite pleasing for me to see all of these photos. However, as for me, I just got back to home after 11 p.m. and I still have not seen my mother’s face for today. She went to Abidhamma School very early in the morning and as I got back home, she was already asleep. I should not interrupt her by waking her up and saying Happy Mother’s Day, right? That would just make her unhappy.
My mother is also not the type of woman that likes to show her feelings to her children a lot and does not approve of us doing that too. So, even if I decided to take her out to fine dining restaurant, it is more likely that she would scold me for spending too much money on it rather than making a special event for her on Mother’s day. She would appreciate more that I buy her favorite fried chicken from Lotteria or Mala curry from Lashio Shwe Mate Sat. I would usually buy these favorite foods for her but I am pretty sure that she would appreciate me more if I stay at home longer because she would prefer talking to me to enjoying these meals alone at home.
Still, I find it quite difficult to give more time for my mother with my daily work and social life. It is not because I do not have enough time but just because I have been prioritizing other activities over spending time with my mother. So, this year’s Mother’s day gave me a lesson about the importance of spending time with our mothers when we still have the chance. (I am not just telling about tonight specifically for not spending enough time with my mother, but every day of my life for the past few years.)
I am pretty sure that I am not the only one getting distant from the ones that we love the most. Still, it is not too late to start spending more time with your mothers starting from today. Give her a hug, kiss her on the cheeks, or take her to her favorite restaurant.
Most importantly, don’t forget to say “I love you, Mom” every now and then.