Monday, March 21, 2011

A Letter to a Mother, Mine.

I wish I had something good enough to say to you but I seem to clam up every time I try because I cannot find the words to prove to you, year after year, that you are a force to be reckoned with. So, as always, I'll write and hope that everything I can't seem to express verbally will come pouring out onto my screen. I think it's funny how I just said that I can't seem to express things verbally when most people I know would think that I am the farthest thing away from that; but you, my mother, know very well that many of those words that come gushing out are a reflex, an eternal shield that hides the many faces of myself that have manifested over the years. 

So I've crossed my mid-20s and "grown up"; although I don't necessarily believe that to be 100% true, I'll accept it because that's what everyone expects of me. While growing up, I've been exposed to a handful of friends with bad mothers or should we say, neglectful mothers. Now, as an adult, watching new generations of children, the increase in the number of those neglectful mothers frightens me. It frightens me because I am scared to be hypocritical. It scares me because there's a selfish part inside of me and I'm scared of it dying and giving itself up for a child. I am scared that I will never measure up to you. 

You've been through so much and have emerged a triumphant hero. It's not easy to come close to that. In my eyes, you've always been a hero though. As a kid, you were my towering wall of strength - thank you for allowing me to hide behind your dress and your strong spirit. As a teenager, you were my unbreakable conscience and my voice of reason that didn't exist at the time - thank you for holding onto my wrist and pulling for your life through out my volatile teenage tug of war even when my arm hurt like hell and I told you to let me be. As an adult, you are my inspiration and that is a much bigger word than it seems - thank you for pushing through to make me believe that I, too, am stronger than I think. I, too, can fight for my family and what is right and that I, too, will never shun my responsibilities because they are hard or because I am lazy. 

You, singlehandedly, have taught me what it is to be a woman - pretty in pink and smelling perfumey alternating with a barefoot, messy-haired, flour-dusted wild child bursting out every day to hone her skills in whatever, whenever she can. I cannot thank you enough because what I see around me, more often than not, are women who have been conditioned to believe that being a woman involves replicating Sex and the City - with or without the sex - and continuing with the charade or parade, if you'd like to call it. I feel really special to have a mother who could shuffle both fulfilling the accepted expectation of keeping up appearances and looking good because it makes you feel good all the while really, honestly, wholeheartedly, being a mom who insists on doing everything herself to ensure that we would turn out to be respectable and achieving members of society. Thank you for never hiring a nanny and for never hiring live-in help. All I can say is: Yuck!

Oh, and for having my sister. Thank you so much. She's been really fun to have around. It's nice hearing her voice in my head when I'm reaching out for chips instead of raisins and it's nice to visualize her finger pointing upwards in protest.

So what I'm trying to say is this: I could never have wished to have a better mother. I could never have dreamed to have a smarter mother-in-law to my husband. I might have never gotten involved in the kitchen if it hadn't been for your spirit cheering me on from Egypt. I can't say enough. I really am truly blessed to have you and to have you bring us together as a family, always. Happy Mother's Day. I love you and I miss you tremendously. See you soon. Xx. 


  1. I loved this, and feel so jealous that you're going to see your mother soon. Mine died almost twenty years ago and I miss her horribly.

    Just discovered your blog via foodgawker and really enjoying it. Trying to piece together your heritage and story. I'm curious that way... ;-)

  2. Hi Ruby, thanks for dropping by and for commenting on this particular piece. It has a special place in my heart. :)


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