Rainy Mother’s Day

Food for Thought

We didn’t feel like going out in this rain, so I cooked this pork roast for dinner.

My daughter said my side of the family is “weird.” Normal families make efforts to get together even if they fight all the time. In her mind, love involves as much hugging as fighting. In terms of what is most common, I would agree. In fact, I would not use the word “love” to describe my relationship with my family.

Imagine a copy of yourself existed. I don’t mean a twin; literally a copy not only of your body but also of your mind. Do you think you would talk to her all the time? It might be tempting to answer yes, but think about it; you talk to yourself all the time in your head. Thinking is essentially talking to yourself. What would be the point of going through the trouble of making arrangements to talk to yourself?

That is exactly how I feel about my family. There is nobody else in the world I feel more comfortable being with. When I’m with them, I can be myself completely. I don’t feel any need to impress them or fight with them. I don’t even feel the need to express my love towards them. I’m quite confident that they know. And, conversely, I know they love me too. They don’t need to tell me or do anything for me.

Don’t get me wrong; this does not mean that we were always conflict-free. Quite the contrary; the reason why we don’t feel much need to talk is that we’ve already shared our deepest thoughts and feelings as adults. Whatever resentment and baggage I had with them, we’ve already gone over and resolved. Today, even if we talk about them, painful emotions are no longer attached to them.

When I was in my 20s, my mom flew to New York from Japan by herself to see me. During her stay, we mostly talked, intensely for hours in her hotel room. She never stopped me, evaded my questions, or tried to change the subject no matter how painful and exhausting it may have been for her. Although she is quite bad at debating, she tried her best. I think she felt that it was her final duty as a mother. Our relationship from then on became one of mutual respect as equals. I feel fortunate to have my weird family.