Monday, March 25, 2013

Night alone: reflecting the first year as a mum of a teen.

It is raining outside and I am all alone at home. It is very silent night and I can hear the sound of rain and occasional foot steps of neighbors. I take this night as a gift and will reflect on what I have done through this year as a mum of a teen since she entered the school last April. I remember the face with the mixture of excitement and apprehension in the new uniform on the first day at school. I watched her back feeling as proud as any mums can be in the situation. We didn't know how tough things would be to get used to the new life style then. We moaned and struggled together so much. By summer, I felt so exhausted and didn't know what to do or say to ease her pain and stress. At that time, I was also busy for getting used to my new work in order to gain some more financial security to provide what she needs but ironically lost time to be with her. We hit the bottom at that time. Then, things improved as she started shining again as a member of the school brass band. She gained her confidence and finally started to live again. She also passed an English proficiency test and by winter, she looked enjoying her school life with a certain purpose. But then, she lost her hearing temporarily, according to the doctor, due to the intense stress. Intense stress? Then guilt stepped in my mind asking if it is my fault. At the same time she started questioning of her hectic daily life. She works 7 days a week. Even on the break from club activity, no time to play but study for the tests. No space or time to relax and play. Without knowing what I could do for her at the end of last month, I got on the emotional roller-coaster with her again. We moaned and struggled together again with no clear answer.  That was all I could do. I felt so powerless, helpless and imperfect mum but I made sure that I was there for her when she needed me no matter what. One night, she asked me to scratch her back and fell asleep as she leaned on me. She must have been really exhausted at that night. As I felt her warmth, I felt her heavy heart as well and it was heartbreaking yet I was thankful that she allowed me to feel the heaviness in her heart.

Struggling might be something all the teens go through. Yes. It might be true but it doesn't mean it is easy. It has been a big challenge for both of us to be genuine yet  flexible enough to accept how things are at school. Last night as we took bath together, she said, "Mum, in the first year at Jr.high, I've learned life never been flat. It goes up and down all the time no matter how much you try to stabilize it. So, instead of fighting, I decided to accept it." I lost for words and just nodded, trying not to think about how she came up with such an enlightened comment. If I did, I couldn't have stopped my emotional tempest.

 I am not sure what is gonna happen next but I know that we will be ok as long as we are sincere to each other as we laugh, sing, dance and also moan together when it is needed. When she comes home, I will make sure to tell her that no matter what she deserves to be loved and admired.

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