Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Being Grateful for Having Options & Loving My Mom So Much

My mom left Paris today, to return back to San Diego.  She insisted that she stay with me for the first week or so of my walkabout, to make sure I was settled in okay.  Being with her 24/7, especially on a trip, is not easy…we can all attest to that no matter how much we adore our moms?  I feel both of us have to compromise: she has to try to not to micro-manage me and nitpick at everything I do, I have to try to subjugate my will to what she would like to do and the way she wants things done.

Here she is at the palatial French estate that is where my dad’s cousin and her husband, the Korean ambassador, have lived for the past 3 years.  

The foyer into the drawing room. 

My aunt and uncle have a million and one guests coming in, not to mention the security issues are stifling.  So, I have found much humbler accommodations to move into starting next weekend. :)

I rode into Charles de Gaulle airport with my mom this morning and as I said goodbye to her from the boarding gate, tears spilled over.  No matter how much we may irk each other, I would do anything to make her happy and I have a huge soft spot for her.  For she was part of a generation of women and culture that sacrificed everything for their children.  It was a given that she give up her own aspirations as soon as she was married to stay at home and raise her children.  It was a given that whatever we needed growing up, she provided at the cost of her own desires.

She, too, had her dreams.  Here are some photos of her in high school.

She went to college for a few years to study fine art.  She is a wonderful painter.  She married my dad when she was 23 years old, had me at 24.  Here is my mom and my brother and I as little kidlets:

As we have grown, sometimes, I feel her life is empty and I feel so bad that her life has turned out like this.  To someone of my generation and sensibilities, it seems like a life wasted.  When I passionately broach this subject with her – I told her I would pay for her to resume her painting, or to pursue whatever interests she may have – she brushes it off and says that it’s what all women of her generation and background did, and that her former life is in the past.

I was not raised in that culture.  I am in my 30s and have always been free to pursue either a career or a stay-at-home marriage, or a mixture of both.  I have had great role models either way.  Today, I am so appreciative of that freedom.  And I love my mom dearly and am very, very grateful to her.

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