I wish I could come up with a better explanation about why my kids didn’t meet my side of family until now. The only reason is that I was stubborn, selfish and dumb. So dumb that I let my mother miss her only daughter’s wedding and her first grandchild’s first couple years. We missed each other for ten years.
I can’t even breathe only thinking if I’m not there for my children’s weddings. Not to mention not contacting each other for ten freaking years.
I wasn’t sure if my becoming a mother made me want to reconnect with her. Maybe I wanted to make myself feel better. Maybe everybody told me to do so and I wanted to shut their mouths. But I’m ashamed to admit that if Ethan were not coming along with us to Hong Kong, I might not even have the guts to initiate contact. Kids are ice breaker. I knew clearly that if situation got awkward that we had nothing to talk about over the dining table, we would still be able talk about my kids. Or just looking at Ethan in silence instead of biting fingers until they bleed.
I knew that she would like to see me no matter how much aversion we left behind ten years ago – maybe just to see how selfishness made her daughter turn into. I just didn’t expect that eventually we saw each other almost every day during our stay in Hong Kong. I didn’t expect that it’s never enough.
My worst nightmare didn’t happen as none of my family ever mentioned about the past. Except we couldn’t hide the fact that Ethan did inherit my stubbornness. When I look at how my mother has evolved through the heartache I have caused her over these ten years, I think I understand that this is part of the essence of motherhood – watching your child grow into her own person and not being able to do anything about it. And over these struggling ten years, my mother may have gone through excruciating bitterness that no one could ever imagine, yet her capacity of love and forgiveness has also grown so enormous. I am sorry, yet I am also glad that she came out the other side.
I thank my kids for making this happen before it’s too late. Because I didn’t realize that I would miss her THIS much coming back. And it really hurts.