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Mother's Day2024 Essay4



Title: Are you going to be independent? Or not?

Author:Hitsuji-no- Oyako


“Mum, come downstairs!”


I stop working on my computer, stand up, and stick my head out the window.


My daughter, who has just returned from school, is staring up at me intensely from the ground.


“Hurry up!”


I sigh and slip on my sandals, making my way downstairs.


As I approach, my daughter grins and says


“I love you, mum. You smell so nice.”


She buries her face tightly against my stomach.


I hug her back just as tightly.


"Good job. Welcome home."


It took me a while to realize that when my daughter called me like this after school, it was a sign she wanted to be comforted by her mum.


Some days she comes home full of energy, but most of the time our second-grade daughter returns in a grumpy mood. It’s no wonder her heavy school bag and six hours of classes make her exhausted.


I truly appreciate the current environment that allows me to work full-time from home.


Hugging my children when they come home and embracing their bodies and emotions brings me the greatest satisfaction as a mother. It's the highlight of my day.


===

Around the latter half of spring break in second grade, my daughter suddenly declared,


"I'm going to Grandpa's house starting tomorrow!"


"What is going on?"


 I thought she was joking.


“Cause when I'm home, you're constantly nagging me about this and that! It's seriously so annoying!"


The day after my daughter said this, she had Grandpa come pick her up and left us.


Tonight, with my daughter gone, it's just me and my five-year-old son. Usually, our dinner table is noisy with the three of us, but with just one person missing, it's unusually quiet. 


I talk to my son, who is eating more quietly than usual.


"Am I really that nagging with all the this and that?"


"Yeah, pretty much,"


my son immediately replies.


"Oh, do you think I am?"


I ask back, trying to sound cheerful.


"Like when you say, 'Hurry up and eat your dinner!' or 'Take a bath right now!'"


My son mimics my voice with a proud look on his face.


“But you know what,” 


I try to explain, but my son won’t stop.


“We’ve got a lot of important things as well.”


His words leave me speechless. 


That's right. You’re already five. You indeed have your concerns.


===


My daughter finally returned home on the last day of spring break. The next day, she came home from school as a fresh third grader, and as she opened her mouth she said “I want my own room.” 


She was unusually enthusiastic and eager and took advantage of my busy work schedule to move her bed into a spare room, and in no time, she had completed her room.


As a parent, I should have been happy to see my daughter trying to be independent. To be honest, however, I was confused and anxious


Since my husband passed away two years ago, the three of us have done everything together—eating meals, taking baths, going places, and sleeping.


We were always together.


If that's the case, I'll focus on my important things too! I'll work harder, make new friends, and start preparing myself for the day when my children no longer need me. I'll begin my journey toward independence right now.


I make a silent vow to myself.


===


But then, a week later, my daughter crawled into the bed where my son and I were sleeping, saying, "I want to sleep with my mum".


Although I complained out loud, deep down I felt relieved and satisfied.


My current priority is to thoroughly enjoy the time spent with my family of three.


In a narrow bed where three of us were squeezed together, I pondered, feeling the breath and body heat of the children.


So, may I pause my declaration of independence for the time being? Ha-ha.


Call for Donations
Thank you for reading this essay to the end. This essay was written by Single Mother Hitsuji-no-Oyako for Mother's Day2024. The non-profit organization Single Mothers Sisterhood supports the self-care of single mothers' minds and bodies. Your generous donations will be carefully used to fund the operation of 'Self-Care Workshops for Single Mothers' and 'Expressive Recovery Programs'. The well-being of single mothers is essential, not only for themselves but also for their children. Your support would mean a lot to us. Donations are accepted here.

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