It was Mother’s Day yesterday in Japan. My mom had already left to work when I called, so we left her a skype video message. We took the laptop outside so that we can capture in the video background all of the spring flowers in full bloom in our garden.
Looking back at Mother’s Days, I can remember doing something for my mom only one time while I was still in Japan. And I remember about it only because of a fight I had with my younger sister.
I think I was about 10 and my sister 7 or 8. Me and my sister fought sometimes. I am sure it was because I was being mean in some ways. My sister was a happy kid who was kind, so it made her frustrated as all get out whenever I did or said something to upset her. She didn’t know what to do with her anger. So she usually had taken it out on my possessions. Leading up to the one Mother’s Day, as a school project, all of us in our class made some coupons to give our moms – free shoulder massage, free dish washing, and more free shoulder massage. I had traced a flower shaped magnet to draw some uniform flowers as design to my coupons. I was pretty happy with my creations and looking forward to giving them to mom. And then I made my sister upset about something. I was very oblivious or very non-caring to the fact that I made her mad. She went off somewhere, and I didn’t think of anything. On Mother’s Day, I went to fetch the gift. I found the hand-made helper coupons covered with unruly pencil squiggles all over them. I don’t remember what happened next. I can only imagine that it there had been some crying and yelling. Happy Mother’s Day, mom.
Long story short, (year, I already told the long story, didn’t I) that’s the only mother’s day gift I had given my mother in my early years, if I ever gifted the coupons to her. That’s horrible. I don’t like to think I am that ungrateful or unthoughtful, but it seems to be like it, doesn’t it? It’s not at all a reflection of what I think of my mother or how I feel about her.
I am still not that giving as far as gifts go, but these days my husband and I call my mom on Mother’s day to wish her a happy mother’s day in Japanese. Sometimes belated. It really is the thought that counts. Better late than never.
“Okaasan, Haha no hi, Omedeto”