Echoes of love

Published May 11, 2024
Illustration by Faraz Ahmed
Illustration by Faraz Ahmed

Ever wonder why some guys are just great with everyone? It all starts at home! Exactly, mothers and sons share a powerful bond that goes a very long way in shaping the kind of men they become.

It is a special connection like no other! This bond helps shape who a boy grows up to be. A mother’s love and guidance show her son how to be caring and understanding, which helps him build strong relationships throughout his life. A mother becomes a living example of respect and kindness in his life. The way she interacts with everyone, but particularly the men in her life, sets the standard for his son’s behaviour with all the women young or old in his life. By expecting courtesy and consideration, she subtly teaches him that women deserve the same treatment — not as something special, but as fellow human beings.

While some mothers show their love with lots of hugs and kisses, that wasn’t exactly my mum’s style. She was more on the strict and disciplined side, therefore, expressing her feelings with words wasn’t always easy for her. However, I never doubted her love. It shone in her eyes — I was her pride and joy.

Unlike my dad, mum took charge of making sure things ran smoothly and she was the one who enforced the rules. From a young age, she made sure I knew what was expected of me, both at home and out in the world. Her goal was clear: to raise me into a disciplined, respectful young man who protected others, especially girls in the family and those around me, she made me the one who could go out in the world with kindness and empathy in his heart.

However, as time passed, I realised that the rules set by my mother were never illogical or impulsive. They showed how much she cared about me and wanted me to be a strong, capable, responsible and disciplined person. Even though I didn’t like when she suddenly showed her strictness to me, I realise now, it was her way of making me better and stronger for the future.

We definitely had our moments, but all those rules and lectures from mum were totally worth it! They made me who I am, and I’m happy with that!

There is no doubt that while growing up, most of us, boys and girls, hung out with our mother more than Dad (especially if she happens to be a stay-at-home one). This builds a stronger bond, don’t you think so? Like, you come home from school and who’s there asking a million questions about your day? Your mother, of course! Plus, she’s always dropping wisdom bombs on you, casually, at dinner, or while you’re helping out in the kitchen that very few of us could understand.

And as far as I can remember, those wisdom bombs were mostly about respect — respect for myself, respect for others and, most importantly, respect for women. She instilled in me gender equality and the inherent worth of every human being, regardless of their gender.

There is no doubt that my father was there to show me the world from a male perspective, but my mother showed me the tenderness and the emotional depth of everything that I missed or failed to notice as a male. While my father taught me strength and resilience, my mother added lessons about emotional expression and the ability to connect with others on a human level.

Thanks to her, I’m not just a walking brick wall — I can understand others and express my emotions, too!

Illustration by Faraz Ahmed
Illustration by Faraz Ahmed

Boys may not always express their sensitivity or emotions openly; they tend to keep them bottled up inside. Despite being hurt or upset; they often feel pressure not to show it because of societal expectations about masculinity. I consider myself fortunate because my mother understood this. She recognised the turmoil I was experiencing inside, the façade I tried to keep as I grew up.

I remember back in my childhood days, one day I came home from school feeling upset because a classmate had teased me during recess. My face was all red in anger, I ran straight to my mum. Instead of immediately solving the problem, she let me express my feelings fully.

Once I had calmed down, she said, “I know it hurts when someone is unkind, but your reaction shows you have a tender heart. That tenderness allows you to understand how others feel.”

She gently wiped my tears and continued, “Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about having empathy. It’s a gift that will help you form deep connections in life.”

My mother taught me that tenderness and emotional depth are strengths, not weaknesses. From her, I learned to appreciate my ability to feel deeply instead of suppressing it. It also helped me become more emotionally aware and in tune with myself and my other siblings.

Now that I am an adult, I carry the legacy of my mother’s teachings like a precious torch, lighting up my path wherever I go. Many kids and youngsters don’t like when their parents give them instructions or tell them to follow the rules, but I accepted and followed. Whether it was making my bed every morning or completing my homework before playtime, my mother’s insistence on discipline taught me responsibility and time management. Yes, undoubtedly, there were also times when I grumbled and protested, but all grown up now, I realise that those small tasks laid the foundation for success in all areas of my life.

My mother is not in my life anymore, and I long to feel the comfort of her touch one more time. I long to hear her words of encouragement and wisdom once more.

But you can express and cherish the presence of your parents in your life. Waste no minute, because we are the joy of our parents. Knowing that we care about them gives them strength and happiness. Therefore, even as adults, it’s crucial to express our love and care for our parents. Both mother and father hold a special place in our lives. They need to be acknowledged and appreciated.

I admit, as kids, teens and even adults, we can be selfish, often prioritising our desires without considering our parents’ feelings. There are occasions when we may prioritise our father, but we tend to take our mother for granted. Why? Because we believe she will never mind, always forgive and easily forget. Isn’t it an injustice?

Remember kids, our mother is the one who knows us from the core of our hearts, our good and bad, our strengths and weaknesses, because she was the one who gave us birth. She held us carefully and gently in her arms, remained up all night to comfort us when we cried for hours, and her tired, restless body with pure love kept trying to soothe and give us comfort forgetting all about her in providing us.

Dear mother, sometimes I wish I could rewind life. There’s so much I’d tell you. First and foremost, how much your love means to me. You were my guide, teaching me right from wrong, even when it meant sacrificing your own comfort. All those late nights, all the things you gave up — they built the foundation of who I am today. And for that, I can’t thank you enough.

There’s a part of me that aches knowing I never truly expressed how grateful I was for your endless prayers, and whispered wishes for my happiness that echoed through the years. Because of you, mother, a part of me will always believe I can achieve anything. Thanks for whispering that into my heart all through the years.

Published in Dawn, Young World, May 11th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Wheat price crash
Updated 20 May, 2024

Wheat price crash

What the government has done to Punjab’s smallholder wheat growers by staying out of the market amid crashing prices is deplorable.
Afghan corruption
20 May, 2024

Afghan corruption

AMONGST the reasons that the Afghan Taliban marched into Kabul in August 2021 without any resistance to speak of ...
Volleyball triumph
20 May, 2024

Volleyball triumph

IN the last week, while Pakistan’s cricket team savoured a come-from-behind T20 series victory against Ireland,...
Border clashes
19 May, 2024

Border clashes

THE Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier has witnessed another series of flare-ups, this time in the Kurram tribal district...
Penalising the dutiful
19 May, 2024

Penalising the dutiful

DOES the government feel no remorse in burdening honest citizens with the cost of its own ineptitude? With the ...
Students in Kyrgyzstan
Updated 19 May, 2024

Students in Kyrgyzstan

The govt ought to take a direct approach comprising convincing communication with the students and Kyrgyz authorities.