As one grows up in life, different changes that are physically, emotionally or psychologically occur. Physically, one’s physique becomes elaborate as the years progress. In terms of mental growth, one’s thinking matures with time and so does the emotional component. As age catches up with someone, he or she begins to develop different attitudes towards some people, things or places. This is particularly true, as I have witnessed it as I grew up. My perception of the world and all that it encompasses has undergone a tremendous change. In particular, I have had to change my stand about my parent and more so my mother. This essay compares and contrasts my perception of my mother when I was a child and now in my young adulthood years.
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My childhood was eventful just like that of any child growing up under the watch of strict parenting. From the first day I knew to refer to my mother as ‘mum’, she has always held a significant place in my life. Even amidst all controversies that a teenager is bound to encounter as part of the growing process, I found myself leaning back on her for my moral support. So what is the difference between those good old days and now? I must admit that the goal of every parent is to see to it that their children grow up to be responsible and respected citizens. This does not come easy as it involves a conflict of interest given that the child is not old enough to realize this. Such is the highlight of how difficult bringing up a child is. However, the challenge doubles if the child is a girl. The following are some of the scenes in the past and now and how they are in stark contrast to my current perception.
I grew up as a very playful child and this would often lead me to trouble with my mother. At school, a game would always lead to one of the playmates injured courtesy of my invented dangerous game. At such times, my mother would give me a thorough beating in front of my playmates and a similar one or worse when we returned home. This made me believe that she did not love me like the mothers of the other kids. When I was old enough to go to school, I had already learnt the respect of other children. This earned me the role of a mediator when my classmates fought. In contrast to what I had thought earlier, the motive behind my mother’s reprimanding was only a preparation of great things to come. It was not meant to be a sign of hatred or repression. How I wish I had realized it earlier!
After learning to respect other children, my mother was not done with me. This was not the only mischief I had. Back to school, my teachers had a time in having me do my homework in time. I would give all manner of excuses to justify my lateness. On arriving at home, I would not bother to show my mother the progressive records until she asked for them. I did not know that trouble was looming. One day, my mother, unexpectedly, showed up in my elementary school. She explained that she wanted to know my progress in school because I had not being doing it. Hell had broken loose. My class teacher was mad at me. There transpired were days full of a feeling of betrayal. In this mood, I managed to keep track of my studies since I wanted to post good results as I promised. Today, I realize that the efforts made by my teacher and mother were not to intimidate me like I thought then but were made to make me responsible and hard working. What a different turn of events!
Another contrast in my perception of my mother’s actions in my childhood and now occurred has its roots in my truant behavior I had adopted. Schooling has never being a nice task for many kids even under the ideal of all conditions. The situation is aggravated, however, if the standards in one’s school are a level higher and thus more involving. This happened to be the case with the last years in my elementary school. A change of administration was enough to tighten the grip. Studies became demanding than I was used to. In no time, I found myself in the hands of the strict disciplinarians who would not hesitate to give heed to the old adage of sparing the rod and spoiling the child. I was not short of options. There had to be a way out and the action had to now or never.
With the demanding studies in mind, I devised a strategy of skipping the lessons of the teachers that I knew were bad news to me. This, I did discreetly. The plot worked for a number of days given the high number of students in our class. I do not know what made me change my mind and decide to attend one of the lessons of my math’s teacher who was no non-sense entertainer. He was quick to notice that the previous day I had not being in for his lesson. He sent me for my mum to explain what the problem was. Once again, trouble rented the air. My mother reprimanded me severely and I was put on extra class during games time to recover for the lost lessons. I liked playing with my friends so much. I had to obey this new order (Lacie 346).
At home, I stayed cast down and did not want to talk to my mother for what she had done to me. I even contemplated reproaching her for her decision. However, today, I regret for such misconceptions. I now realize my mother was just doing her part as a parent to bring me up to be an obedient child devoid of such vices like truancy or recalcitrance to schooling.
As I mentioned earlier, growing up poses different challenges with the girl child being on the receiving end of many predisposing risk factors. A one point in time, girls will naturally want to associate with the opposite sex. This is a very normal phenomenon but the timing of the body hormones is not the best. Adolescence poses many challenges and it is against this backdrop that my mother continually reminded me hold unto virtues like self-control to live a dignified life. Many a times I took such advices as a routine until my mother realized it.
She determined to take the initiative before the milk had spilt and she did exactly that. My normal errands were erased and if at all I was to go out, I had to be under the companionship of my brother and supposed to return home an hour before dusk. What a miserable life! I thought. Now that I am in college, I have realized the meaning of that entire weird attitude my mother had. I have realized that she meant well for me. All she wanted was to make me see that she really cared for her daughter and wanted her to grow to be a dignified personality not mere imposition.
It is interesting how well meaning actions can be wrongly interpreted. I wish I had understood my mother back then because I would have saved the trouble I witnessed her go through. Though my childhood perceptions of her are quite different from how I perceive her now, my mother will remain a moral shoulder to lean on in times of emotional turmoil as her caring and unwavering love and faith in her daughter has never been challenged. How I wish children who are growing could realize how good their parents mean for them and respond positively when reprimanded.