11 Aug

August 11th. Today is my mother’s birthday. I won’t tell you how old (young) she is… she would kill me. But I will tell you that she is the best mother I could have ever asked for, and that I am truly blessed.

I’m far away today. She’s in New York and I’m in Japan. I was thinking about how I’d like to get her something, but my mom’s a bit picky… not to say that she wouldn’t appreciate from the bottom of her heart anything that I got her, but I’d say she has her standards and some really expensive taste, which is hard when I’m a poor college student. While wandering around Tokyo today I came to think about my mom and the places we used to wander around when we lived here: Shibuya, Hiroo, Omotesando, Ginza. We didn’t explore too much. I think we became creatures of habit, going only to the places we knew we liked to eat and shop at. I wish we had gone exploring. My mom hates getting lost, though. Maybe now we could enjoy the adventure of it, but I think back then we would have easily gotten into a fight. I remember we used to fight a lot, my mom and I. Over really dumb things, on my part. I would say something sarcastic or have an attitude when I said things that drove my mom crazy, which upset me, and we’d end up in this awful cycle and mad at each other for part of our little outing. I wish I hadn’t been such a little brat then, that I would have been more appreciative of my mom and the little time I got to spend with her on the weekends. I wish I hadn’t wasted time not talking to her because I was mad at her for telling me I had an attitude when I clearly did.

I know now the gift I wish to give my mother… obedience and respect. My mom always tells me stories of how she would never talk back to her mom when she was younger, and still doesn’t, and they have such a great relationship now. The useless bickering hurts both parties involved, and both are usually too full of pride to say they were at fault first. I have such respect for my mom. She is so hardworking and always putting the family first. She is putting my brother and I through school, and even willing to help pay for my medical school so I don’t have to deal with loans. She started work as soon as she was legal to, and even put herself through college, working all through the night. I wish I could have half that drive and passion. I am so grateful for everything she has given me and provided me with. I truly am so so blessed. So, today, on my mother’s 29th birthday (just kidding, she isn’t 29… I’m almost 21, that’d be weird. She used to tell me to tell everyone that she was 29 years old when I was younger, though.) I promise to respect my mother, and not give her attitude or talk back to her. It may seem trivial, and something I should have worked on a long time ago, and I have. But I still catch myself in the act every once in a while, and I feel terrible thinking about how much it hurts my mom and how it was completely unnecessary on my part.

I still see friends fighting with their parents, not getting along, and it makes me sad because I know how much the parents must care about their kids and how they really only want what is best for him/her, and how much the kids must care for their parents but are still in a rebellious independent stage where they think they don’t need their parents to tell them what to do anymore. I think that must have been me… wanting to be free. I know, though, that I don’t always make the best decisions, and that my parents do really want what is best for me. It has taken me a while to come to this conclusion, unfortunately. For a while, I was convinced they were only saying that but had their own agenda. I have never been more mistaken in my life. I think living in the U.S. for so long rubbed off on me, making me think I should make my own decisions and not care what my parents wanted me to do because it was my life, not theirs. But if I think about the Eastern philosophy and the way both of my parents were raised, I think that makes more sense… Respecting authority, your parents. Thinking about how your decisions affect others, not just yourself. My future is not just my own. It matters also to my parents because they raised me and provided for me. I shouldn’t just think of myself.

I hope my mom knows how much I love her, admire her, respect her, and miss her. I wish I could be there to celebrate her birthday with her.

I love you so much, Mom! Happy Birthday!!

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