My daughter goes to a private institution. After she’d entered into middle school, she’d been busying, attending the cram schools, to better her grades, only on weekends, were we able to find the time, to get together. On the eve of Mother’s Day, she’d texted, said she’d wanted to head to the close by brunch shop, so we can have some mother-daughter time together.
During that time, she’s busying on the skits, the national English exams, with a lot of hard homework assignments, I’d been busying, drawing and teaching too; we lived under the same roof, but, with the distances in between us growing greater and greater, and our conversations from day to day were reduced to, “had you any food?”, and “good night”. And, if I’d inquired about her grades, then, the originally quiet evening would become, stormy.
There were, so many things I’d wanted to ask her, I was so excited, I’d only slept for five hours, and got up, started flipping through the photos of her as a child, riding that bicycle through the town of Yilan, eating each other’s shaved ice, catching the lizard at the hiking site, plucking flowers from Yangming Mountain………there was, this sense, of realness, in her foolish and playful looks.
I’d then, clicked at my daughter’s postings on FB one by one. In her teenage years, she’d gotten taller, her face became longer too. There was, that lack of innocence in her long face, with that hint of stubbornness added on; there was hints of maturity in her taller, but still childish body now, and, there’s, that habitual frown between her eyes as she’d buckled down to study. And, her wise eyes, are still, the brightest stars that I can ever see.
When she was younger, I’d often, started kissing her face and hugged her. This sort of unplanned, unasked for show of intimacy, is the best way to show love between the members of the family, and, although she’d carried that disgusted look, and pushed me away, but, compared to words, bodily contact helps me express my love toward her.
We’d arrived to the location of the gathering early. My daughter complained on how she’d had some minor misunderstandings with her classmates, how hard it was, for her to keep up in her drama club and class work, and which soap she loved. We’d talked about how we were doing, as her mother, I’d felt, a bit, nervous.
She’d picked up that coffee, that we wouldn’t allow our kids to drink, and, started sipping at it in my dumbfoundedness, stated how good it’d, tasted, then, pushed her soup to in front of me, to share with me. Sharing the foods, it’d helped the flow of words along. As I’d thought back to last night how I’d, flipped through the photos, time is moving in the now, but, we’d, kept reminiscing over the past.
The alarm from her cell came. My daughter checked in, and took a selfie, and photographed the omelet in her plate, shared the foods she was having with her friends. And, I can only, set up her photo like I was, doing a tarot reading.
“Stop playing on your cell phone.”, it was, as if, I was, voicing out my barely audible complaint inside a cave. Because, the answers that came to me were, “just a second”, “I’m almost done”. My daughter was right in front of me, reachable in physical distance, but, her mind was, totally, controlled by that small device.
My daughter’s right hand was answering the texts, and used her left hand, picked up the pepper shaker. Suddenly, time had, stopped, the needles got, spilled onto the tables, floors, and, there were, toothpicks, all over her omelet. She’d, picked up the wrong jar.
As we’re on our way back, we’d laughed as we recalled how that silky smooth omelet, became like a porcupine. She’d told me she wanted to come again, because the fillings in the omelet, mushrooms, ham, and cheeses, were more than the omelet itself.
I’d, rained on her parade, and told her she can have a “date” with her cell phone the next time. She’d not minded, and got really closed to me, said, in a playful way, “Let’s have a special lunch date, with my specialty, porcupine omelet.”
She didn’t understand Taiwanese, she’d not heard the female owner of the shop, while she’d picked up after us saying, “Such wasteful manners, how wasteful!”
So, the two of you had a special lunch date, and, this is going to get harder and harder to plan, because your daughter is all grown up, with her own friends, her own life to live, and, there’s, not that much time, that the two of you can share those moments of intimacies the two of you used to that often or easily anymore…