Sometimes, it's embarrassing how much my Ma is still the same overprotective nag like she was when I was 12.
Ten years ago: "Makan sayur banyak-banyak supaya kurang sikit jerawat ko"
Now: "Itulah ko tidak makan sayur. Tingu kulit ko banyak scar."
Ten years ago: "Ko sudah minum susu ka?" She forced Nespray on me
Now: "Ko sudah minum susu ka?" She forced Alpha Lipid on me.
Ten years ago: "Jangan lupa botol air ko atas meja"
So I'm forgetful.
Now: "Mama suda kasi sedia botol air ko. Jangan lupa lagi macam kemarin"
I was in my final year in college and I still forget my "botol air". Old habits die hard.
Ten years ago: It's always fried rice and hot milo for breakfast. It always took her ten minutes to wake me up for school.
Now: Toast bread and hot nescafe for breakfast. She knocks on my door "E-C, pukul 5.30 sudah ni, bangun!"
She never let me, nor my little sister out of sight when we were little. I had to sulk for two days before she finally relented and let me go to my first camping trip. I don't have to ask for permission now but she still calls when I'm out - "mau hujan lebat ni" which is mum-speak for "be home early".
There was one time when I went to a friend's house to watch Titanic. It was 1998, I was 12 and Leonardo Di Caprio was a revelation. I didn't tell her because the friend's house is 2km away. She wouldn't allow me to walk on my own, you know, because bad guys are everywhere. That's what she told me every day. I decided that Titanic would be worth braving the threat of bad guys and..uh head hunters. She flipped out when she got home from school and I wasn't there.
Later that night.....
Relax ma, I said, I only went to a friend's house.
Ya, but I didn't know where you were and I was worried sick.Don't ever do that again..yada yada yada...
Last year, I went on a trip to Penang. By bus. From Shah Alam. It was a wonderful trip. On the journey back to Shah Alam from Penang, it was near midnight and we are still on the road. She called every hour, asking where I was, how much longer until we reach Shah Alam. I got annoyed. Ma, no need to freak out. The bus driver is driving slowly. It was near 3am when I got home at Shah Alam, Now I can sleep, she said.
My dad called later in the afternoon, telling me that mum didn't sleep well last night worrying about me.
Just, be careful ok, don't worry us so much, he said.
Will do, pa.
I am 23 now. Mum still cooks me breakfast. Forces me to eat veg. Calls me when I'm out, reminding me to be safe. Get on my case if I skip breakfast or shop too much. Nag me to sort out the ever expanding stuff in my room, tell me to keep my long hair or tone down the junk food.
Between 1998 and 2010, a lot of things happened. The highlight? - I grew up. But for some strange reason, Mum never got that memo. To her, I'll always be that little girl that cuddles up to her at night.
So I get it you know, I'll always be her little girl. Age is just a number anyway.
And I wouldn't it have it any other way.
HAPPY 45th BIRTHDAY MUM!
I love you :)