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szdaily -> Hit Bravo
Little things with Lili
     2011-May-25  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Carrie (王佳薇)

Lili is my mom. She is a quiet woman, soft-spoken, with a kind face -- the sort of face that doesn't let on exactly how strong she is. I have three stories about her.

The first one is about Lili's depression.

When I was 9, she quit her job and started her own business. She is that kind of woman who wants all things in her control and of course she is very independent. I remember she told me she didn't want to be at home to do some common family chores like other housewives. She wanted to have her own company. She is a woman with a great sense of responsibility and of course runs her company well.

But as time has gone by, she spent less and less time with me and she told me I should learn to be independent. She never helped me with my schoolwork. She was busy and for a while she was so tired and depressed. It had been going on for about three months when my dad convinced her to go to see a therapist. It was a slow process of recovery, but she got through at last.

The second one is about the little frictions between Lili and me.

When I was in junior school, I was performing bad academically. I was a B student and I knew that this bothered Lili. I still remember after one middle-term test, the school required a parents' meeting in every class. I asked Lili if she had the time to go to the meeting, she asked my scores then told me she didn't have time. "You will cause me to lose face," she said.

I still remember how I was hurt at that time. I walked into my room, closed the door and lay down on my bed. I cried. She didn't attend the parents' meeting.

I hated that kind of feeling, and as of that day, I started to work very hard. I did great in school and I attended one of the best high schools in Shenzhen. I became an honor student. Lili was happy. She thought she could be the proudest parent in the parents' meeting and she could have a chance to give a speech about how she educated me.

After the middle-term test, there was a parents' meeting, but I didn't tell her. I told my teacher my mom didn't have time to come because she's very busy. Lili asked me about this later that month. I said: "The parents' meeting was over and I told the teacher you're very busy because I thought you wouldn't come just like when I was in junior school." She had no words for me, just sharp silence.

The last one is about myself, about pushing too hard and nearly falling apart.

I'm like Lili in some ways. I like to be in control. I work late into the night. The first time I had illusions was in a biology class. The teacher showed us a picture of a butterfly. I don't know why but I was scared and I cried and ran out of the classroom. Later, during the TOEFL test, I just "saw" so many butterflies flying towards me and it was driving me insane.

I told Lili about it that night. The next morning, I saw bags underneath her eyes and her eyes were red. She took me to see a therapist, and waited for me for three whole hours while I was receiving therapy.

The therapist then told Lili my illusion was caused by my lifestyle. My lifestyle was like a wheel spinning too fast and it was taking its toll on my body.

Before the therapist finished his speech, Lili had already burst into tears. To be honest, I never saw Lili crying like that. After that day, she began to spend more time at home, cooking, making salad and dragging me to do sports. I felt she had made me stronger.

The meaning of mothers and daughters is not just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger. "Mom" is the one who shows up, stays there regardless of anything. No "Mom" in this world is perfect, and we shouldn't expect them to be. What we can do is to take what she gives you and build a world from it.

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