Here’s to you, mom!

Mother’s Day was last Sunday. Therefore, for the last month, we’ve been bombarded with Mother’s Day ads for flowers, candies, gifts, cards, buy this! Treat your mom to that! Etc., etc., etc. Our TVs have been filled with Mother’s Day commercials. The ones that remind you of all your mom has done for you. How she made your favorite food as a kid. Or how she would tuck you in at night. Or how she would always come to your aid when you are hurt or down.

What these commercials don’t show, however, is that there’s more than one way of showing love. Take my mom, for example. She did all these things, don’t get me wrong– she made me my mac ‘n’ cheese, read me bedtime stories, and gave me those Hello Kitty band-aids– but she’s also not that softy, gentle maternal figure we paint out moms to be. Naw, my mom is tough. She’s here to make sure I grow up properly.

And she does this in her own way, using methods often annoyed me as a kid. But I’ve realized that, in all she says and does, my mom is always looking out for her daughters. To her, it’s a given that she wants the best for us.

So I’ve compiled this too-short list (because no list would be long enough, yeah?) of five things my mom has done for me and my sister. Here goes!

1. She looks out for our safety.

Every parent fears their kid getting attacked or injured or kidnapped. My mom is no exception.

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Even as my sister and I have hit legal adulthood and lived on our own, she still worries.

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My mom has some serious protective-mother-bear-mode! But really, she just wants us to be safe. 

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2. She keeps things in perspective.

Back in high school, I dislocated my shoulder during swimming class. After a panicked call to my mom, I was taken to the ER.

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Fair enough. She had a point. I was am a huge crybaby.

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And no parent wants to see their child cry, right? Instead, my mom keeps me and my sister grounded. She wants us to be able to face whatever life throws at us!

3. She makes sure we stay healthy.

Every time my mom calls, she asks, without fail:

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And nowadays, since I’m on Weight Watchers:

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My mom is also a pharmacist. As a result, she knows a lot about health and medicine.

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My mom knows her drugs, yo.

My mom has to deal with patients every day. She’s seen how poor health can affect a person. She often tells us,

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…right before proceeding to slather us in sunblock.

post 128 image 10Dude, when I’m old, I’m going to have SUPER-SMOOTH SKIN! Didn’t help me with the freckles though.

4. She wants us to succeed.

My parents grew up in a very different society from my own. Where my mom comes from, kids’ grades weren’t based on the percentage correct they got on a test, but rather how well they did compared to the other students. Vietnam isn’t the richest country. Back in her day, education was the only avenue to climb your way to success. Liking your job was secondary to achieving financial stability.

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And the truth is, I really admire my mom for the way she took control of her own education. She wasn’t content as a dentist,  housewife, or a lab technician, all three of which were options for her. She went back to university and got her pharmacy degree, despite having one kid and being pregnant with another. (Me!) She clawed her way up through guts and hard work. And she wants and pushes her kids to be able to do the same.

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She’s expecting great things from me and my sister. Sure, the pressure’s been on even before we entered kindergarten. But at the same time, it’s nice to know that your mom believes– and expects– that you’ll grow up, become independent, and succeed.

5. She absolutely and unequivocally loves her kids.

My mom is a tough cookie. She’s blunt. She’s a tiger mother. But, without a doubt, she loves me and my sister.

She wants to share with us what she enjoys.

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She takes care of us when we need it.

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And ultimately, she’ll do whatever it takes for my sister and I to be happy.

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So, mother, mẹ, mom: This one’s for you! I know you read my blog (you tell me proudly, all the time, that you somehow navigated the internet again to read every single post) and I know you were in Canada wishing your own mom a Happy Mother’s Day, so I waited until you got home today to release this post. And now, I want to take this chance to say: Mom, my sister and I are grateful for all you’ve done for us. You’re our one and only Zumba-dancing, tofu-cooking, glasses-losing mother. And we love you bunches for it!