Recently I realized just how dependent I am on my mother without knowing it. Sure, we’ve all thrown those clichéd tantrums about making our own decisions and taking matters into our own hands. But I’m not sure if I only speak for myself when I say at the end of the day, I can’t carry out most actions without the explicit advice from, yeah you guessed it, my dear , all knowing mother.
Maybe it’s the fact that she has let go of the reigns a little bit, now that I’m 19, or maybe I’m just plain stupid, but I find myself hanging on to her more and more. I fought my whole teen life to be ‘independent’ and now that I am, I find that it’s not as enjoyable as I thought it would be. There used to be a time when her advice meant nothing to me. Her advice was something to be shoved at the back of the drawer, because though I knew I was committing something wrong by not listening to her, it was easier to do it anyway with it out of my sight. Now? Uh, not so sure.
The other evening I thought now would be a good time to wash my hair. It was 6:30 in the evening. The sun was down, and even though it was almost summer, the nights could get pretty chilly and with exams around the corner, I had no intention of falling sick. Without a second thought, I was walking up to my mother.
“Do you think it’s too late to wash my hair?”
She looked at me. Then she glanced at the clock.
“Well, you better hurry up and do it fast before it gets cold!” She barked.
The 15 year old me would’ve scoffed at the idea of going to my mother for a matter simple as that. In fact, if she had had the nerve to try and stop me, there would’ve been some considerable shouting, faces would’ve been made behind her back, and general mutiny. Now though, her approval had me scuttling like a rat into the bathroom.
There’s this general saying about one meeting their younger self wishing they could turn the clock and put some things right. Well, if I met my younger self sometime in the future, I imagine the encounter would consist of teenage me yelling at the present me while I cowered in the corner, feeling ashamed for ruining the image of teenagers all around.
The whole incident had me thinking. Did she experience the same thing with her mother? Did she tell her friends that no, she couldn’t come to the mall with them because her mother said no? I’ll have to find out.
I realized there were so many instances where I couldn’t function without a stamp of approval from my mother.
“Hey ma, does this shirt fit me well?”
“Hey ma, can I eat this?”
“Hey ma, can I go to the movies?”
“Can I sleep in tomorrow?”
“Can i buy this pant? Is it too short?”
“Can I taste this?”
“Will you come with me?”
“Does this earring match this outfit?”
“Hey ma, do you think it’ll rain today? Should I carry my umbrella?”
The list is quite endless and I’ve lowered my self esteem quite enough for one article haven’t I? I’m not sure,I better ask my mother.
Feature image by Catherine Rose Hutchison.