ladies and gentleman, she is loony. Completely bonkers. Her arguments with me end in “because I said so!” , but we don’t argue so much anymore. As I get older, I have a lot more perspective than I used to have and I have a whole lot more respect for who she is and why she is who she is.
And she has been hell of a mother. To all of us Peiris children. She has been an iron woman, a constant inspiration and source of strength and wisdom.
She has had better days though . She had once been young, just like me , but infinitely more beautiful. I feel a wistful sense of awe when I think about how petite and perfect she had been. And her art. Her paper art, the clothes she made, the curtains she did, the pillows she made, her food, the toys she made for me for show and tell at school , and did I mention the food she made?
I remember standing in the corridors waiting for her to show up for parent-teacher meetings in grade five. I remember her walking towards me in her blue dotted saree, and I distinctively remember how I thought “omg I have the most beautiful mother in the world!”. I remember holding her hand and hopping beside her in a semi dance semi hop child thing I did , while we went to talk to my teacher and my teacher told us how badly I had done in math.
It breaks my heart that she is getting old. Older. And wrinklier. She handled age as best as she could muster, but as her children are growing up and going away, she’s not handling the loneliness so well.
We’ve never lived in the same place with her for too long. That’s the other thing that breaks my heart.
But the things she’s given me. The person she made out of me. And the wings she gave me and how she let her children go , even when it was breaking her heart. That’s the most amazing thing about her.
Only the greatest of mothers are able to let their children go completely, without holding anything back.
I know this. Because she let us go. She had to live without us, she had to cope , but she did.
And when she did, she trusted us to be good , and right, and never questioned our motives and set rules for us that we had to abide by. We made our own. We played by them, we broke them some times.
We haven’t always been good children. We have rebelled and argued and resisted them. And some times even resented.
But she believed in us. She let us make our mistakes and showed us how to get through them. There was never an I told you so. There were never a sense of perfectionism that we had to adhere to.
There were never any manipulation. (I despise parents who manipulate their children. Parents who give their children silent treatment as punishment. And feel the need to control every step and breath of their lives. Children being children know nothing else but to find their own way of voice, and they do .) To be a free person, someone with an open mind, you have to have incredibly strong and self-less parents.
Have you noticed how we are defined by how our parents raised us? Everything we do and we say , is a reflection of their love.
And that blows my mind.