11 July 2024

Here’s a little tip if you don’t want to buy a basket of chicken essence or bird’s nest soup, or go to a crowded sukiyaki restaurant: Ask your mother to cook for you instead. If she can still do it, that is.

She will be much happier. It’s what she always did anyway. Willingly and with a heart full of love. Why the taste of what mom cooked sticks around forever no matter what is the worst-kept secret in the universe. She put nothing extraordinary in there except her subconscious thoughts that the finished products must be best for her child or children.

Open secret it is, but that’s also why nobody else can ever come close to copying “How my mom used to do it.”

But if her age means the simple task of cooking is a little too much now, a wholehearted hug will go a long way.

August 12 has been too commercialized. There is no surprise, though, because the intended target is us, not her. We are made to think that arriving with a warm smile and a basket full of expensive fruits or top vitamins or taking her to the best restaurant on the beach or in town is the way to go. And the people who make us think so know all too well that she will never complain, that she will look happy come what may.

She’s a giver, not a taker. Even when she looks at the basket as if it’s the most precious thing in the whole world, she is giving. She does not want you to ever think that your “act of love” is superficial. One thing she will never do is devaluing whatever you do.

The minute you were born you were given a blank check. She will do things nobody else will ever do for you. Ever wonder why there’s no greatest mom stories ever told? In a world full of heroic tales, it
somehow beggars belief that we tend to record and glorify what happen on battle grounds or in sports stadiums rather than what is done day in and day out without fanfare yet sometimes in a taboo-defying manner.

It’s not limited to man, mind you. A video clip of a mother rat diving into a flooded hole to rescue her children one by one went viral. A man, armed with a huge stick, chased a mother dog that had stolen his beef to her hiding place, only to find her watching her puppies devour the loot hungrily. A mother sparrow, belonging to one of the world’s nerviest species, stayed by the side of her injured baby in a human home for two days and only flew away when the little one died.

There are tales like those, and there are “simpler” ones that are no less reflective of mom’s love. When something is so omnipresent, it’s easy to take it for granted. That’s why many of us say “I should have realized it sooner and done something about it earlier.”

If you believe in hell, also believe that she will go there if that is necessary when you are concerned. Remember, God can’t be everywhere but mom can. That’s why he, if you believe in divinity, created her in the first place.

Give her a good hug. That’s all she needs.

By Tulsathit Taptim