Is it because family is the most essential and fundamental relationship any human has that it turns out to be the hardest? We devotedly seek it out from the casualness of calling our best friends 'bros' and 'sis', and adopting pets as important members of one to churches that have tightly-knit spiritual families. Even orphans learn to develop a sense of family from their surroundings. The most certain thing is that we want to return to that place no matter what our situation, our circumstances. Our home, our safe shelter.
But is the closeness between us also what creates the friction as well? I got scolded today after my mom told me to get out of the car to pump gas for her. For that moment I lost the filter that most people have when speaking to their parents. Instead my mom got the gas while I stood next to her at the gas pump. Back in the car she started going on about “This is what happens when kids get raised with American values”... “Should I beg you for a small request? Ridiculous.” ... “At the tip of a tiny favor, you complain the loudest.”
So badly, so badly I wanted to retaliate, but because I lost my cool earlier I decided to shut my mouth this time. I was fuming and in my head thinking,
But Mom, don't you know by know I hate touching anything dirty? Can't you be more considerate to see that I was about to drink juice when you turned around demanding me to go out of the car? Why don't you see all the “small” things that I do for you without you saying a word? Well...it's not only me, I guess my mom returns the favor in this aspect...and more.
There it was, the rationalization I've been waiting for, the one where, in my smoke filled thoughts, I needed to realize that I was at fault too. I started un-fuming,
Kris, can't you just let trivial demands go and just do it? You should know that mom has to touch the dirty gas pump more than you. Yuck. Don't you see all the “big” things that she does for you without you asking for it? I'm not sure I can totally convince myself of the last one, but my mother does do a lot for me, no matter how much I try to deny reality.
Now really, do I have to empathize with everyone, including my own mother? Especially your mom. She single-handely raised both my sister and I after we moved to the U.S. How tough was it for her? I know I can't and never will be able to imagine how much.
When one competes over miseries and hardships, there will be no end to it. This is how I took a step forward out of my “appreciate me” phase and into the“let's come to a peaceful understanding” phase. It took 19 years for this thought to progress, perhaps it'll take another 19 for me to settle into a “appreciate mom” phase. Hopefully, for both my mom and I, it won't take that long. Consequently, even after being thoroughly reprimanded, the first words that came out of my mouth instead was “Mom, I'm sorry.”
My mom, paused, responded with“What am I suppose to say?”
I was speechless, after gathering enough courage to genuinely apologize was she not going to accept it?Am I suppose to tell her how to feel too!? When did our relationship get so complicated that sincere apologies weren't enough!?!?...Wait...Calm down. I'm currently suppose to be in my peace-making phase, so I wont get upset, yell, and be frustrated, I said I'm sorry and I meant it, so mom please, just consider it, consider forgiving me.