This Girl’s Moving Open Letter to Her Mother Will Leave You in Tears!


This Girl’s Moving Open Letter to Her Mother Will Leave You in Tears!

Illustration: Namaah/ Arré

My dear mother,

It must make you so proud today to see me standing in front of you as a confident young woman on the threshold of an exciting journey through life. Why then, I ask, have you not written me an open letter about it?

Surely there must be life lessons you want to share with me? Lessons that you’ve been holding back for a quarter of a century to deliver in all their social media glory to an adult daughter. Lessons that you chose not to share in the teenage years when she probably needed to hear them.

The only lessons you did pass on were inadvertent, or by leading by example. Who does that? Like when you treated both your kids equally. When it came to education, or our future plans, there was no discrimination between us based on our gender. Guess it helps that we’re both girls but let’s not get pedantic here.

Maybe you could tell me about your parents, whom I’ve met a couple hundred times by now. Maybe you could tell me about the values that they instilled in you in your formative years that gave you the foundation on which you try to live your life even today. Values that even your parents didn’t have the good sense to put in an open letter, being the squares that they are. (See how it feels?)

Or maybe you could tell me about an overwhelming tragedy from your childhood that shaped the person you are today? Like the time grandpa was replaced by a lizard person. What better way of learning about something like this than at the same time as the rest of the internet? I mean he does seem a little shifty-eyed and scaly, but an open letter my friend’s mum wrote to her on her 16th birthday (damn, she’s good!) stressed on the value of “accepting your family for who they are”.

As a parent with a full-time job, you must not let work affect the way you relate to your family. Hot dinners and kind hugs are fine and all, but if you really cared you’d at least put it on a blog post. I know you’ve done a lot for my little sister and I, including but not limited to attending our school functions even when they were inconveniently timed and violently boring. But maa, does any of that really matter unless you make it out to be a shining example of parental sacrifice? How am I supposed to appreciate you unless you publicly appreciate yourself with all the rabidity of an insincere tycoon first?

Remember the day my board exams were about to commence? And remember the last time you heard someone unironically use the phrase “about to commence” in a sentence? Anyway, you had taken leave from work so that you could take me to the examination hall yourself. When I realised you were coming, I told you I was used to going for my exams alone for so many years, because what kind of daughter would it make me if I chose to repay your gesture with gratitude instead of using it as an opportunity to guilt you?

Then remember when you asked me to pursue my dreams, no matter how unrealistic they may seem? I kept having that dream about falling asleep through my math board exam. And you’re right maa, that dream did come true.

Anyway, maa, always remember to take the good with the bad. While I may be irreversibly disappointed in your failure to publicly motivate me in an attempt to stay relevant, the good news is I’m broke and I’m going to take some money (not much, like 20K) so you can be mad at me for that and then we’re equal. After all, it’s all about achieving balance.

Your Loving Daughter.