I am not attached to anyone at the hip. Especially family. Parents, to be precise.
When I see children being over fond of their parents or vice versa, it creeps me out. I love everybody alright. But I don’t go over the top declaring it… I may do it on social media, but in person I am all the more miserly in showing affection. I am just not built that way.
At times, I am jealous of children openly showing care for their parents. “Mummy, you might have had a long day. Sit down and let me clean up the kitchen, will you.” They say with mock sternness and the mater relents. And there I stand looking with equal awe at this display of affection and acquiescence. Why do I never seem to succeed at it?
I try. Mostly on people other than my mother. But if I try it with my Mom, I just evoke a jovial laugh which doesn’t take me seriously. “Since when have you developed this streak?” That’s what I get. Or sometimes mild envy, you never helped me out like you did the Aunty, today…(and that’s true, I seldom help her out because I think of her as a superwoman who has everything figured.)
I am just plain incapable of displaying affection to her. And my close family in general.
Whenever I am not in hometown, I don’t even call frequently. (Sometimes, it’s a subconscious decision as I feel if I talk more, I’ll get nostalgic…maybe burst into tears and have them worrying what’s wrong…while there’s nothing wrong per se. It’s just my writer self missing childhood at home, with them. Most of the time though, it never occurs to me that I should call. They’re so present in my mind that I don’t realise that I haven’t talked to them today or for many days.) On the other hand, I have friends who can talk for an hour with their mothers and their family. I envy them at times, at other times I just heave a sigh of relief that my family accepts me as I am.
To explain better, my mom and family are awesome. I have no grudges that hold me back from having affection. It’s just – I find it too cheesy to express it or be at the receiving end of such affection. I get fidgety if my Mom tries to pamper me visibly…it just doesn’t seem right. For me, parental love has to be subtle, at least when the child is grown up enough to understand stuff.
I trust them with my life. They always have my back. That is more than enough for me. This opens the vistas of the world wide enough for me to fly anywhere I wish to. And I know I’ll fly back to my nest whenever they need me (this will evoke another laugh, if they do read this). This equation works for me.
I will never be the one who asks, how are you, did you eat well? Is your back hurting all the more today? I’ll just take them silently the doctor if I am there or tell them funny stories of the day I had, if I can’t help from a far away place.
Would I wish different? Honestly, yes. I’d like to be able to show that I love them. Without feeling cheesy. That’s almost impossible with my present self.