a mother and her daughter

I think my mum misses me and wants me back in SG for good. She did not exactly tell me that or put it into so many words, but I could sense it from the phone conversations we've been having much more frequently now.

We had a surprisingly long chat last weekend.

(in mandarin):

"P has moved out of your room and taken the sofa bed, tv, table etc, basically all that he bought, with him, and now it's empty. I'm going to leave it this way and not renting it out to anyone anymore. When you come home, I'll get you a new bed and we'll furnish the room together."

"Good to hear you're cooking more often now. Don't always eat out, it's not healthy. And don't forget what I've told you a million times before, porridge cannot be kept in the fridge overnight. It'll give you tummyaches."

"Have you been looking for jobs here in SG? You should. The job market is good now. Even if you can't immediately get a job, come back first and look slowly, don't worry about not having an income. I'm not poor to the point I can't feed you."

My mum and I, we've come a long way now from the days when she'd never call me unless there were bills to pay for, to her now getting calling cards and calling me whenever she doesn't hear from me on the weekends just to bitch about stuff at home and to find out how I am doing.

She has never been the kind of mother to show her affections with us (me and my bro). As far back as I remember, she has never hugged nor kissed me nor brought me to the doctor when I was sick. I used to wonder about her lack of concern for me. Was I really picked from the rubbish bin as all Asian parents love to tell their children? (I've got heaps to say about that but that'll be for another day.) I thought she took me for granted and that I was only the piggy bank that spewed out dollar notes whenever the bills arrived. And I was very sore about it. It made me angry that she couldn't take care of my brother's uni fees and hence passed on the burden to me. It never occured to me that she was helpless too. That she did the best she could but that was simply just not enough. So she turned to the one person she trusted the most who could take on and had always taken on the role of the head of the family.

And as for the lack of affections, who am I to criticise her for that? She may be wondering the same about me too, why I have never told her I love her, or provided her a listening ear when she needed to bitch, or bought her fancy presents like her friends' children do. She must also have thought I have desserted her by leaving for a place thousands of miles away and only offered to pay for her airfare to visit me 2 years down the road. I guess she never realised how affected I was financially in order to live up to everyone's expectations to provide them as easy a life as I possibly can such that I had no spare budget for an OZ holiday for them. I have always put up a strong front about eveything being all good that she must have thought I was really coping well.

Throw in all the misunderstandings, feelings of guilt and finger-pointings surrounding the family over my dad's passing, our relationship had been strained to breaking point. Yet we never brought it out into the open and talked about it. We just let it eat into us day after day until we were so consumed by anger that I just had to take off. The separation did us good.

Now that my bro has finished his final exams, my shoulders feel significantly lighter. I think my mum feels the same too. Gone is a huge chunk of financial liability that was constantly driving a wedge between us. Perhaps that explains the lessened tension between us. I think it's about time we made up and start cultivating the mother-daughter relationship we've both been secretly yearning for for the longest time.

I am feeling so homesick now.


snowcloud said...

wah we hv xin ling siang tong.. i hv been thinking of my parents too and was blogging in my head abt my r'ship with them

u noe, i hv been counting the mths since u left.. it's coming to 2 yrs next week. wadever ur decision to stay on or come back, u'll always hv our support de. we want u to be happy

Alex said...

Your this entry really power. My eyes were so watery because I can totally understand the situation u and mum are in. haizz..

Anyway, i dun think the job mkt is that good here leh. But then, if its for your mum, i think u can consider coming back for good. I guess she really misses you.

ed said...

I had a similar conversation with my mum regarding my plans upon graduation. I told her if I were offered a good job over there, I'd probably stay there a few more years to work and gain some exposure etc. From her words and expression, it was very obvious that she wants me to return to Singapore because "我們全部都在新加坡".

P.S. Imho, the job market isn't that good either.

E said...

have a lot to say about this, maybe over email, or even better, one day we should meet and pig out together.