on reaching the business end of a mother’s day conversation


a recent photo of Mom and Dad, thanks & acknowledgment to the Dely Imperial photo library!  happy mothers' day to all!

a recent photo of Mom and Dad, thanks & acknowledgment to the Dely Imperial photo library! happy mothers’ day to all!

[Note : just by being yourself, you are already a legend.  To all moms, please take a bow today.  Happy mother’s day to all! ]

IT SEEMS improbable, but I’m willing to bet a week’s sweldo that with half a lifetime’s bonding, the amazing array of communication tools available, and the era of open, honest and leveled communication now upon us, most of you, like me, still find it a little difficult to talk and be at ease with our mothers at the same time.

We empathize, feel, relate with any kind of person mass media brings before us, we can keep in touch with people halfway around the world on numerous platforms, and we are in complete touch with the widest range of emotions as the moment requires, be it for entertainment, education or edification.

Back to our mothers.  We can talk to our moms on a wide range of topics, as long as it doesn’t concern our emotions.  We can also be at ease with our mothers, as long as we aren’t communicating earnestly.  So what I’m saying is, we can’t talk to and be at ease with our mothers at the same time.  (Or maybe it’s just me?)

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So many maybes come to mind when I think of why this might be.  Maybe because of the generation gap.  Maybe because the previous generation grew up repressing their emotions, at least in front of elders, and therefore expecting the same from their descendants.  Maybe because children grew up with an overload of admonishment, overcorrection and micromanagement from their parents, and to show emotion would be a sign of weakness, error or extreme behavior, none of which might be seen as ideal behavior.  But remember, these are all just maybes.

The only thing I’m sure of is that as her third son, now nearly half a century old, I still behave like a little boy when I happen to share a conversation with Mom.

Sure, we talk about pleasant, everyday and important things.  We talk about them often enough, and I always get the feeling that on either side ideas, information and other good stuff go through.

But the really important stuff isn’t as easy to pass through.  There’s this filter of awkwardness, trying to say the right thing, and not lingering on how you really feel, that pervades most conversations with my mom.  And if I know you like I know myself, I’m just guessing here, you know where I’m coming from.

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So, just to make it a little easier for you and me, I’m going to tell you what I plan to tell Mom when I call her this Mother’s Day weekend.  (Don’t really know where the apostrophe should be, but that’s not important.)

I will tell her first about the rest of the family, her daughter-in-law, her grandkids, and maybe, just maybe, future members of the family.  If any.  This is easy, because it’s not hard to talk about other people.  And it breaks the ice.

Next, I’ll tell her about my immediate plans and dreams, and how I’m tracking.  This is a little harder, because there’s the potential for success (or failure) assessment, which is the inalienable and God-given right of every parent, so proceed at your own risk na lang. But this is always good to do, because Moms feel important when you report to her your progress (or lack of it), at this advanced stage she feels you still value her input, even though your ear is further from the receiver than at any other point in the call.

Last, and this is like I said in the title, the business end (or money shot if you prefer) of the talk.  You tell her exactly how you feel about her, and how much she has impacted your life.  It is the most important part of the call, so while you can wing it or improvise on the other parts, on this part you don’t.  You tell it like it is.

If your mom is like mine, and I’m betting that she is, she has made you into the person that you are today.  So go ahead and say it.  I have good points and bad points, but most of the former, I owe to her.  I’m nearly certain you’re the same.  So go ahead and tell her.  And a lot of times I was in trouble, real or imagined, she was the first person I thought of running to.  And almost always, ultimately I did run to her. If you feel likewise (and I’m guessing you do), remind yourself, and herself of that, and tell her how grateful you are of that fact of life.

After these, you may now, appropriately, wish Mom a happy mother’s day.  🙂  And an “i love you Mom” wouldn’t hurt.

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Look, you don’t need to tell this to Mom everyday, beyond her birthday and mother’s day.  After all, in her eyes, you are already perfect, and every good thing you do is already a bonus.

But every little bit helps.

Happy Mothers’ Day Mom, I love you very much!  And happy Mothers’ Day to all the moms in the world!

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