A Definition of the Perfect Mother
by Sylvia Park
"M is for the million things she gave me
In the dictionary, the definition of the word "mother" means to give birth to, be the mother of, to create, produce, to watch over, nourish, and protect. It is true that they are the ones to create us and watch over us. They are the ones who cover us in blankets whenever we are cold. They are the ones who cook us meals whenever we are hungry. They are the ones who love us and nourish us. They are our lifeguards, and we are the ones swimming in the pool who are in need of being watched every minute and rescued.
Moms are soft like pillows inside. Although mothers get mad and scold us when we do something wrong, they become very nice and kind when we get sick. They give us medicines and caresses when we are sick. Whenever we are scared, they comfort us in their arms, and when we are young, they become the heroes who save us from the monsters under our bed at night. Their outside is rough and edgy like the feel of an unshaved beard. Other times, when they get mad, they look scarier than the monsters under our bed. For example, when my mother and I have a fight, we don't talk to each other for several days. The longest time we didn't talk was about 2 weeks. Seriously, the look she gives me when we fight makes me very uncomfortable. I pretend not to notice her staring at me so fiercely, but she is definitely scarier than the ghosts and the monsters. I have to pull out my white flag. I can go on for months not talking to Mom. But the thing I hate about that is I have to spend my own money for lunch, and I can't go out with my friends because I don't have a ride. Also, when we don't talk to each other, she gets mad at my brothers for no reason, and they take the heat, and pass it back to me. So all of them are mad at me when Mom and I don't talk to each other. The most important thing is FOOD! She eats by herself, and not with us. I have to cook rice and prepare everything for me to eat. Most of the times, I get lazy so I just eat frozen dinners. In those times, I strongly feel the need of a mother.
In Korea, we say "umma" which means "mom" whenever we are surprised or scared. When we trip, we scream "Umma!" spontaneously. When someone taps on our shoulders in the dark, or pushes us, we scream "Umma!" It kinds of mean "Oh my gosh!" If you don't really understand, then try to scare me, or make me fall. I'll yell out, "Umma!" without trying to do it on purpose. We wonder why we don't say "appa" which means "dad?" Is that because we feel closer to Moms than Dads? Why do we say "Mom" whenever we are scared? When parents get divorced, most children stay with their mother. Why is that? Moms are more "Mothering." Do Dads mother their kids? Is there such a word as "Daddering?"
The definition of the perfect mother changes as I get older. When I was around 1 to 5 years old, I thought Mom could be perfect only when she feeds me in time, holds me in her arms all day long, sings me a lullaby, and tells everyone that I'm the cutest girl in the world. When I was around 6 to 10 years old, I only thought that Mom could be perfect when she holds my hand tightly and takes me to school, takes a lot of pictures of me, tells me that I'm an artist, and cooks me delicious meals so I could show off to my friends at lunch. When I was around 11 to 13, I wanted a perfect mother, who let her daughter play with her make-up, cleaned up the messes her daughter had made, and tells her to grow up fast so she can go shopping with her daughter like a friend. Now I'm old enough, and she never goes shopping with me like a friend. She barks too much. When I was around 14 to 15, I only called her Mom whenever I needed new clothes, money, or anything else I could get from her. I feel ashamed instead of grateful, whenever she buys me clothes. I tell her to stop talking to my friends, and leave us alone whenever they come over to my house. Now that I'm 16, I just want her to be a perfect mother who buys me a car and lets me hang out with my friends whenever I want to. I want a mother who is ready to feed me whenever I come home from school, and asks, "How was work? I'll cook you a delicious dinner," whenever I come back from work. I want a mother who brings me a tray full of appetizing fruits when I'm studying for my tests. I want a mother who is understanding, and who invites my boyfriend over dinner.
"A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie" (Tenneva Jordan). I used to think that a perfect mother is someone who sacrifices her life for her children, but now I have learned that mothers have their own lives. They should be able to enjoy them. Moms shouldn't be treated as slaves. They are not here to work for us, but to love us. I should be nicer to my mom because she's the one who cares, worries, and protects me from all harm. After everything she's done for my brothers and me, she should be the most important person in my life. I love her. I'd say a perfect mother is the one whose kids never miss her because she's always in their hearts.
Bio: Sylvia Park is 16 years old and attends North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Georgia. She moved from Korea 3 years ago. Her Language Arts teacher encouraged her to submit her writings to magazines as a way to improve her English.
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