My mother and I have always had that close-knit relationship- one that has only grown stronger as we’ve gotten older and more understanding of how the other thinks.
Growing up with my dad abroad and not having many friends, I began confiding in my mother a lot. Everyday through school, university, and work, I would come home and stand by the kitchen counter and tell her all my stories as she did the dishes. No matter how insignificant they were, she would listen, laugh, and comment.
Despite that, my parents raised my sister and I to be strong, independent women- which might come as a shock to extended family members who think we are spoiled and unable to handle responsibilities.
It’s no wonder that now that I’m married and living in my own apartment, she feels the house is a little bit emptier. It’s no wonder that in our daily phone calls, she always asks me if I’m doing okay, if I need help, if I would like to come over for dinner or lunch. She uses those as excuses to get me to come over, so things can go back to the way they used to be, even for a short period of time. She never explicitly says that she wants to see me, using the classic Lebanese excuse of food to lure me in.
And trust me, once or twice a week, I totally go for that excuse and find myself in that familiar home, raiding the fridge, lying on the couch, and sharing stories like I have always done.
In the lead-up to the wedding, we butted heads quite a lot. Especially towards the end. I won’t lie and say that it all passed, because sometimes the argument got so intense that I would absolutely break down and question why we were having the wedding in the first place.
My mother and I are very similar in that we are both headstrong and have opinions on everything, except our opinions don’t always match. And on many occasions I ended up misinterpreting these differences as she wasn’t happy with what we were doing or how we were approaching things.
Then the wedding came along and none of our guests were as overjoyed as my own mother. She was beaming the entire night, though a bit anxious, and she was taking everything in. I guess it was at that moment that our relationship became even stronger than it already was- and I forgot all about the conflicts we had in the past year about the wedding.
I’m lucky that I only live a 10 minutes walking distance away from my family home, that I still pass by it every single day on the way back from work. So if I need the break, all I can do is stop there and walk into my mother’s comforting and loving arms. I know so many people do not have this privilege and wish they were in different situations.
And I’m lucky that after the initial weirdness (which hasn’t faded away at all) that I don’t live here anymore, it still feels like home.
My mother still tells me my hair is a mess, recommends what tablecloths to use in my dining room, and gives me pointers on my cooking. And she always hands me a Tupperware full of food or some item she picked out for me as she was out shopping, as I am heading out of the door.
Because even if I’m married, things don’t have to change completely. Especially when it comes to my mother.