Monday, January 07, 2008

Mom and me (a reflection written on her birthday)

Last Saturday I was at Shangri-la Plaza shopping for my mom's birthday present, which is always a Herculean task, given her exacting standards. Not finding anything worth buying at the Debenhams sale, I dropped by Zara to check out their ongoing sale. While inside the store, I passed 2 women who were speaking in Chinese, debating whether or not to get a certain item. As if the tone of their discussion weren't enough, one glance at their faces told me they were mother and daughter, and something about that made me smile.

They say that all women eventually turn into their mothers, whether referring to physical resemblance or personality profile. When I was growing up, everyone always said I looked like my mom, but I think it was more because of the fact that we're both tall and I used to wear glasses like her. I actually look a lot more like my dad, and though I've come to terms with my huge Lim cheeks and pudgy nose, I still consider it more flattering when people say I remind them of my youthful-looking mother.

But the real reason I'm sometimes dubbed "Huya Jr." is our similar personalities. Although our mentalities and beliefs can be different at times, we're wired the same way: strong-willed, independent, domineering, hot-tempered, cerebral and instinctively (over?)protective. Being so alike, we butt heads very often, especially when those differing beliefs come into play. Nonetheless, I like that I'm a lot like her, and more often than not I take it as a compliment when my parents' friends or business acquaintances tell me I'm just like my mom. However, I am also aware that whatever qualities of hers I or others find aggravating or abrasive are also what others may find unbearable about me. Living with my mom is not easy sometimes, but then I have to bear in mind that similarly, living with me for a daughter must not be very easy for her too.

I admire and respect and love many things about my mother, and today, on her 51st birthday, I look at all she's accomplished in a half-century of life, and
feel very proud to be her daughter, and to have inherited many of her fine AND not-so-fine traits.

Postscript: I ended up buying a pajama set from Rustan's for my mom. The PJs are not long-sleeved as she prefers, and the fabric quality might not meet her approval, and I'll probably get scolded more than thanked for my inadequate choice of gift. But I know in her own way-- in OUR own way-- she'll appreciate it. :)


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