“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.” ― Socrates
I came across this quote for socrates when I was reading this book, and I was struck that he said it nearly 2,500 years before my time, and he is perfectly describing what we always hear about our generation, the millennial, the luxurious, the comforted. I have been wondering if all of our relationships with our parents, our teenage, our adulthood is just a loop, you’d think every generation differs, but does history really repeats itself? will it happen like they’ve told us it would, we would love our parents at childhood, then we are repelled, rebellious, unapologetic and we promise not to repeat their mistakes, we keep saying “I wouldn’t want to raise my children like this”, but then you grow older, you inhale and digest all the hidden stories they’ve been through, and realize that they’ve done their best, their best choices, even if it was catastrophic. Then you come to an age where you realize, your parents, your father and your mother, are only humans, not only that, they’re young, they’re children, they’re us.
When we really think of our parents, we often forget that they are us, or they were us. We’d love to think they have it all, they’re our protectors and saviors, they must know it all. Here’s a bittersweet relationship I’d want to write about for life; The Swan, my mother. My adolescence was very bumpy in regards of building a relationship with mama. Mothers are often protective of their daughters, they’d want them to fit, they’d always shower their daughters with advice they believe it’ll help and make things easy, daughters on the other hand want approval from their mothers, they take it all as criticism, another proof of their imperfection at the time.
Here’s the person you most want to think you’re perfect, because her opinion matters so much, So if she thinks you’re doing things wrong, then you must be fatally flawed. And underneath we all worry that we’re fatally flawed.
But that bumpy road is another story. I can confidently say now: I was raised by a swan! a beautiful woman, who embraced motherhood, and grew along with me, gave me her whole world, and made me her future, I would give her my life If I had to. And it’s like a poem that Rupi Kaur once wrote: “I will have to wait till I am a mother” to understand and absorb all the things our mothers went through to put us here, the infinite chain of decisions they had to take to model us, and the power to let us go on our own, continue modeling ourself. It all had me thinking and looking at my mother differently, who was she? before being my mother, what did she give up? was she ever tired of this job, and didn’t have the luxury of quitting? does she miss writing? does she ever think about journalism again? or have we turned into her beautiful life success? are we a success?
I look at this photo, and I just a see a kid, being playful with her brother, I can’t imagine how was she feeling then, and what was on her mind, maybe whats the next new toy in town? or new trendy song I can memorize and repeat with my school friends. I look at a photo like this and I am mesmerized, I was raised by this kid.
I look at this photos, and I think to myself, god she looks like my sister! a photo snapped after a school play, the exact expression my sister would have made after being achieving and proud. I look at a photo like this and I am mesmerized, I was raised by this kid.
I look at this photo, and I wonder what was her wish? when she blew out the candles? the world revolved around her that time, she had no one to think about at the moment, no electricity bills, no curfew worrying, no skinny jeans too-much-makeup scolding, no life-lectures symphonies played because she wants the best of the best for her ducklings, nothing. Just her, the birthday party, the candles and the childhood wishes. I look at a photo like this and I am mesmerized, I was raised by this kid.
I look at this photo and think about a summer in Italy I never witnessed, or a trip to Cyprus I heard about, a barbecue that took place on the hills. We were never there, just this beautiful teenager, looking young and innocent, unmarried, hasn’t even thought about a college degree, has no idea that life is giving her a disrupt career, four children, loss of close ones, a summer love and a husband! A life that is a string of stories, and a historical photo album to reassure it all happened, a visual accompaniment to the myths… I look at a photo like this and I am mesmerized, I was raised by this girl.
I look at this photo now, and I hope she is as happy with her mother, as I am right now, happy and filled with fear of her loss. I think to myself, how fragile I am now after strengthening a rope and a relationship with a beautiful human-being, so strong yet makes me so weak. I look at a photo like this and I am mesmerized, I was raised by this human.
I have thought of a small gift to give my mother on Mother’s Day, that was inspired by all these thoughts, A simplistic video that tells two parallel stories; her life and memories she had in her life (in the visual track), her life and memories that she gave us (in the audible track).
Here’s to all the females in the world, who embraced motherhood, emerged into something beyond beautiful, here’s to the swans. Here’s to more beautiful moments with our beautiful mamas!