Her dark brown curls shimmer in the sun, her eyes are filled with untold stories. The tilt of her chin and the set of her jaw show resilience and confidence. The soft lines on her face hint at a lifetime of hardship, but her gentle smile shows her ability to savor the simplest of pleasures. To most she is known as a skilled chef, an exceptional coworker or a caring family member.
But to me she has always been mom.
As she drives me and my brother home from school, she changes the radio to play one of her favorite Bollywood songs. Her fingers dance along the steering wheel as she softly hums the melody. She smiles when I attempt to sing along, as my offkey voice fills the car. But no matter how much she enjoys the song, it is impossible for her to relate to it.
One of the lyrics from the chorus translates to ‘once baby, be selfish and live for your own self.’ My mom is nothing if not the complete opposite. She has sacrificed so much for her children and will continue to do so without hesitation. I will be eternally grateful for the classes she pays for, the clothes she buys, her home cooked meals and genuine advice. But that is not what I will remember about her.
I will remember the steaming mug of hot chocolate she brings me on stressful nights, and the chocolate chip cookies she bakes every winter. I will remember the feeling of comfort when she brushes my hair behind my ear or when she hugs me after an exhausting day. I will remember her voice telling me stories before bedtime and the sound of her sandals hitting the stairs when she comes to check on me late at night. And I will never forget the glimpse of pride in her eyes when she looks at me.
My mom has always been and always will be unquestionably selfless when it comes to her children. But sometimes, it is important for her to remember that she deserves to be a little selfish too.