When I was in third grade, I wanted to go see Kung Fu Panda. All my friends were excited about it, but, when my mom broke the news to me that we couldn’t afford to go, I was heartbroken.
For weeks and months, I was upset about it. Until one day after school, when my mom made enough money, she showed up with the DVD and a stuffed panda bear in hand.
I’ve kept that panda bear ever since. Its name is Bob, and it’s a she. I don’t remember why I decided to give a girl panda one of the most boy names I knew at that time, but I do remember the countless questions I was asked, and the countless times I didn’t care to give an exact answer I didn’t even know myself.
What I did know was that I loved that panda. I brought it everywhere. I brought it to my dad’s home on the weekends, to the occasional family dinners, and to the sunset Malibu car rides.
It was around me when I was happy and when I was sad. I held onto it during the silent nights. I held onto it with the grip of my small, but tight hand while trying desperately not to feel alone with my family in the other room.
In a time of darkness, that stuffed animal was the last dwindling light source. It held every bit of my fighting innocence that diminished within me as I grew up, but, as I carried it with me through my life’s adventures, I carried bits of my childhood along with it.
When I moved in with my dad, I brought that stuffed animal with me.
When I went to Argentina for the first time, I brought that animal with me to the hotel, on the plane, and in my backpack on tourist trips.
Every trip I took to Mexico, I’d bring it with me.
When I went to boarding school for the first time, it stayed on my bed. When I went home for weekends, it came with me in my suitcase. When I went to OVS for the first time, it came with me.
After I got back surgery before sophomore year, with all of my emotions ridiculously heightened from the the extreme pain meds that put me under, I had a mental breakdown for hours because I thought I had left this panda at OVS. It didn’t stop until my uncle lifted up my blankets and handed it to me.
I was fifteen then.
Then the Thomas Fire came. In a panic, I only had thirty minutes to pack anything valuable to me. Without hesitation, I grabbed my panda and threw it into the bottom of my bag. The dorm parents told us we would only be gone for the night, but I couldn’t risk it. I cried when I thought I left it at school, I couldn’t imagine what would happen if it burned. I had to bring it with me.
It seems ridiculous how emotionally attached I am to an inanimate object now that I’ve grown up, but it’s still important to me. It stays on my bed and it no longer goes on trips with me; I no longer rely on it. I don’t hold it when I fall asleep. In fact, it sometimes slips onto the floor guiltily in the middle of the night. But, whenever I’m distraught or alone, I grab onto it and hold it as tight as I can.
It may still be a stuffed animal, but it’s so much more.
It’s the last thing I have from my mother. I no longer have photos in my possession or objects from her and, despite all the tragic, dark times, this bear represents one of the few good memories I have of her. It symbolizes the goodness in her which faded away over time, but is still kept as a stored memory I hold onto – literally.
It holds my innocence. My ruined, diminished childhood innocence still stays safe inside that stuffed animal I look at every time I make my bed and I still smile about it.
The panda symbolizes my childhood. Without it, the last remnants of it would vanish.
I believe that the sound comes from my heart. Wherever I go, whatever I do, it stays with me, always.
“Breakfast 7 am; Art Class 9 am; Lunch 12 pm; Reading time 3 pm; Dinner 6 p.m.” From the moment I open my sulky eyes in the early morning, I view this schedule board on my bedroom door. It changes every single day. It is really helpful, at least for me. It tells me what to do and where to go.
My mother comes in with a delightful smile as usual. I am really grateful that my mother can still spend her precious time taking care of me even though it is not always easy to look after me. I love her smile just like I enjoy the beautiful sunshine. “Good morning, honey” were the words she wrote on the board along with a big smiley face. I laughed. “It seems you are not going to learn the sign language, are you?” I wrote back to her. “Oh,you are right, I am not going to. Cause I prefer this way to communicate with you. I like the moment when you see my words, I like the way that I can make you surprised, the way you can feel your life is colorful and dulcet.”
I know my mom. She is the only person who understands me, the only person who can put herself into my special life.
Suddenly, a beam of dazzling light hurts my sensitive eyes. I woke up. Yes,I dreamed of my mom again.
Today is the second Sunday of May.
We all know what that means.
It’s a day filled with flowers and cards and breakfasts in bed and hugs and kisses and long-distance phone calls.
I don’t know what to say except that I love my mom very much.
Of course, like any other teenager, I have had my ups and downs with her, and I still go through phases of conflict with her today.
But it is in these moments of conflict, where I have learned to put down my pride and learn humility and obedience. She teaches me even when I am at my worst.
My mother is a beautiful woman. Without her, I wouldn’t be here on this Earth. She has given me a gift that no other person could have given to me. Her distinct set of chromosomes combined to make a unique me.
Thank you mom.
And I can’t forget the effort and care she put behind raising me. The nine months of carrying me and the 18 years of nurturing me. The schooling and teaching and feeding and holding. The bandaids on the scraps, the porridge when I was ill.
Maybe there weren’t times when she wasn’t at her best, but I know that if we could do it all over again, we would do it perfectly..but then again, you can’t rewrite your past.
I appreciate my mother so much. But I know I won’t be able to appreciate her fully until I become a mother myself.
To all the mothers out there, thank you. There is no other job like being a mother out there.
I can seriously say that I have the best mother ever without a doubt in my mind.
She is the kindest person I have ever known. She is kind to every person she comes across. There is not a mean bone in her body.
She is the most loving, accepting, patient and tolerant person. Which are good qualities for her to have, because I was the most difficult, stubborn, and troublesome child to try to control.
She has been a mother to three kids, and still she manages to keep her patience and kindness. She even acts as a mother to those who aren’t her own. It’s amazing how much unconditional love she has for people.
Like most kids, I went through a phase where I thought my parents were terrible, evil people who were trying to ruin my life. But looking back, they did everything for me that I have ever needed. They are selfless and amazing.
I don’t really know how to put into words how much I love my mom. I trust her more than anyone on this planet. And not just because she is my mother by blood. But because she is the person that she is and has the qualities that she has. And the fact that she makes dorky faces at me, and cries whenever I leave for school. And the fact that she spoils me even when we don’t have enough money. And the fact that gives me what I want even when I deserve it.
But, I love her for the things she does on the contrary as well. I love the fact that she tells me the truth, even when it’s not what I want to hear. And the fact that she is always right, even when I wish she wasn’t. And the fact that she is totally embarrassing. And the fact that she fights with me when I deserve it.
I love everything about this woman and I don’t know how I was ever able to take her for granted. I can say she has without a doubt made me the person that I am toady. She supports me, she encourages me, and she guides me without even knowing it. She is the best role model a girl could wish for.
I hope I have been a daughter she can be proud of. And really, I can only hope that I can become half of the person that she is today.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I hope you realize that you are so much more than the hands that feed me and the house that shelters me. You are my inspiration and my best friend. I love you more than words can describe.