March 8 is International Women’s Day, so this post is dedicated to my mom and all the moms of the world. In the book Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, my English class talked about the role of men and women in the book. The first chapter mentioned the “women and children knew deep within themselves that no misfortune was too great to bear if their men were whole”. This followed into our conversation about how men were usually seen as the pillar of support for the family, for in the Joads’ family, Ma Joad seemed to share that pillar, with the family members looking to her to see how they should feel. In a similar way, my mom is part of that pillar in my family. She is the glue that binds my siblings together, the peacemaker.
I remember when I was in fifth or sixth grade, I had a fight with my sister (probably over something silly) that resulted in one of the longest silence treatment I could remember, I think it lasted a few months. Because my sister was only about sixteen or seventeen at the time and couldn’t drive yet, there was little that I needed her help so I didn’t talk to my sister at all for those few months. At first, my anger had not simmered yet so I felt fine, even happy with my decision. As the weeks wore on, I realized how lonely I was, even though I was still talking to my friends, other members of my family, I wanted to talk to my sister. But pride and pure stubbornness stopped me from doing anything. It wasn’t until my mom got us together and casually flicked out the phrase “Well, I guess since you two are in the same room, you better start talking again”. And with that, everything was fine again.
My mom’s home town is in rural Vietnam and my family lived in the city, but every month or so, we would take the bus back to her mother’s house. There’s a special kind of bus that drives from city to city on a trip that usually takes about five or six hours straight, and not wanting to use a taxi every single month, we would take these buses. The streets of Vietnam, or at least those that leads to the countryside, aren’t as developed as the city’s so our ride would be bumpy as we passed over rocks and little potholes. I worried a lot as a child from having read many newspapers about natural disasters so every time we passed over each pothole , I thought the bus would flip, killing us all. My mom, realizing my fears from seeing my face after we passed over the pothole, whispered to me that she would not let anything happen to me. The words didn’t comfort me much, but my mom then let me sleep on her, which she never did, claiming it was uncomfortable (which it was) for the rest of the ride.
I dedicate this post to all moms of the world and for all they’ve done out of pure love and care for their children.
P.S. Link to Sunny_mjx’s flickr.