Have you, for once in your life, thought how similar or dissimilar you are to your parents?
Your parents are among the first teachers slash philosophers you had in your life. Parenting is one tough call. Like Jesse in Before Sunrise said: Everybody’s parents fucked them up. Rich kids parents gave them too much. Poor kids, not enough. You know, too much attention, not enough attention. They either left them or they stuck around and taught them the wrong things.
No matter how hard you try to be a good parent, your children will hate you in some ways. They grow up taking mental notes on everything you taught them. When you deny your children access to television/games you think it’s the right thing to do. But you don’t know they think you embarrass them because they can’t join their friends discussion about the latest episode of Naruto or any cool games. Kids are vicious. Nerdy kids with no access to TV and games are not going to make a lot of friends. Their confidence may be shaken up. Hahaha… dilemmatic right? Thank God I don’t have children………………..yet 😉
Most of my life I’ve been known as a little miss goody goody. I did most things my parents told me to do. I did my homework, I never throw tantrums, I studied hard, I never asked mommy to buy expensive toys, you would find me in my room at night because I never went out to those ‘cool places to hang out’. I didn’t even date a guy until I was 23. When I was a highschooler, my parents said ‘Wait until you are in the college and you can be friendly with boys.’ When I was in my freshman year, they changed their minds and told me to wait until I graduate. I said okay. No big deal. What did I see in those immature, needy creatures with silly haircut anyway? They were just a bunch of losers.
But somewhere inside of me, I resist. God knows, I resist hard. My father wanted me to become a swimming athlete. He said that way I would be able to travel to foreign places, I may even win a scholarship to study overseas. He thought it was easy. He put me to the daily training since I was almost 7. Years later I started to hate the water I was in. For starters, I was not good enough. And… I just wanted to play with my friends instead of kicking my ass in the water for the entire afternoon. I was so unhappy that I cried everyday in the pool. Finally my mom saw how miserable I was and talked my father out. He reluctantly accepted my decision to quit swimming.
With my mother things were easier. Except for one thing. She was kind of obsessed with the idea that I should develop my own career. She doesn’t want me to end up like her, being a housewife. After a while, I grew tired of her expectations. Why can’t I settle down after I find a good man to marry? What’s wrong with being a devoted wife and mother? One more thing, she was very melancholic and helplessly romantic. My parents’ marriage was not approved by my mother’s family. Her father (my grandfather) even kicked her out of the house because she refused to marry her cousin (okay..this sounds very much like a storyline but it happened for real). With so much drama (d’oohhhh…), they got married and started their new life with nothing. When I was old enough to understand why my mother’s family never paid us a visit, my parents explained to us (me and my sister). My sister was kind of drawn into this ‘fairytale lovestory’ but I was more rational. If I had been in my mother’s shoes, I would never never have done the same thing. Jeez… marrying someone just because you love him sounds more than speculative to me. It was insane!
As I grow older and get stronger to put up a fight, I’ve enjoyed my sweet revenge. With my own money I buy things I want. I don’t care if they don’t last long (against my mother’s virtue of buying only things that last). As long as they are pretty and catch my eyes, I don’t care if I have to spend half of my salary just to have it. I hung out with my friends at Java Jazz Festival until 2 a.m. (against my parents’ liking of 9 o’ clock curfew for girls, yeah right plisssss dehhhh… :p ). On the other hand, I find myself more agreeable with them. For instance, I understand my father’s dream of having a daughter swim at the Olympics. That would be wonderful. Wait..more than wonderful. If I can win a gold medal and have ‘Indonesia Raya’ played in an international arena, it would be my proudest moment. I may also have studied abroad. At the very least, I can mention something I am very good at. Unlike now 😦 I am not good enough with anything. Ouch! Reality bites!
On the housewife subject, I am now practically following my mother’s dream simply because ‘the good man’ I was talking about is nowhere near me now 😛 I used to think it’s easy…A good man with a job and good attitude will be enough for me to tie the knot. It turns out not easy as it seems. There were some guys who fit the criteria and they court me and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be in a relationship with a man I didn’t love. God, this is very stupid. Where have all my logics gone? Shoot!!! I become more like my mother, the love guru. Yuck!
One last straw: my parents were right when they said I had to be good at Math. If only I had listened to them more intently and studied more seriously (ignoring the butterflies in my stomach every time they flash me calculus), it would have been me that works at Hewlett-Packard in Singapore 😉 (hehehe..ini sekedar contoh…please don’t mind me) Damn… I hate when they are right!
How about you? Are you doing the opposite of your parents’ expectations or instead, living your life by their rules?