Happy Graduation

Seeing her child come of age, the thoughts of a mother, translated…

It’s, as if in a daze, the roads turned bumpy, I’d focused my eyes, and, those originally familiar looking streets, became, so unfamiliar, and I’d raised up my left hand to ring the bell, with my right arm, slung my backpack on my shoulders, rushed off the bus, the bus sped off behind me, I’d focused, and, hollered aloud, “Ahhhhhhhhh, my temperature bag………”, leaving this defeated “hen” standing all alone, on the busy streets of Taipei.

I’d still had this sort of dreams every now and then.

That was the summer, many, many, many years ago, as I’d just become a mother. This feeling was like being late for a major exam I’d had when I was younger, and after I woke in cold sweat, I’d realized, that I was, already, out of school.

My son, in his infancy, as he heard my version of “Little Kitty Cat” for mealtime, “Mimi, darling/Mimi, my baby/come drink the milk, come drink the milk/here’s, that yummy milk for you………”, he’d wiggled his body with excitement, and get himself closer to my breasts, and worked hard to suckle. Being taken in with his motions, I was, enjoying being a mother then, without realizing, that more trials were coming my way.

這天,我憶起過往,細數這段上課「食光」,許多美好的回憶取代曾經的跌跌撞撞,耳畔迴...the trials this woman faced, raising her son up…illustrations from the papers online…

At first, my son didn’t quite understand how to suckle, and used his gums, and bit down hard, and, my loud “OUCH!” thrilled him, it’d made me start crying. The nurses’ care and concerns got turned into the barking dogs in the late of night, and I can, only run scatter into the dark streets. As my baby couldn’t get enough sustenance, and cried like hell, it’d, forced me to choose my mother-in-law’s breastmilk production recipes of: peanuts stewed with pork’s feet, the sea bass soups, the assortments of Chinese herbal remedies, along with the milking teas out there………

And as the neighbors discussed, “Is her son having enough to drink?” “Breastmilk only works for the first few weeks of life! Breastfeeding this long will only tax your energies!”, my mother said, “Before bedtime, he needs the formulas! He will get hungry fast, and you’d have to stay awake through the night, to feed him!” And, even though there’s care and concern hidden there, behind her words, it’d felt hurtful to me.

Many years ago, the breastfeeding places in public and in the offices aren’t that prevalent, I’d had to work in the daytime, and I’d needed to go and breastfeed my son in the smelly restrooms; as I’d gone on business trips, I’d had to send my bagged up breast milk home by service. I’d had a childrearing volume in my left, the tools in my right hand, worked hard at it, and finally, I’d become, good at it. But, how much of these earliest memories of feeding would my child ever actually recall? I really can’t tell, and still, this would be a special memory that’s shared by me and him alone.

On this day, I’d recalled the past, and, counted out the memories, and, the nursery rhyme “Kitty Cat” came accompanying the fast-beat graduation tunes.

So, this is, tracking the milestones of your child’s growth, as you’d become a mother, you’d gone through some hardships in life, and yet, now, your son is an adult now, and, it made you realize, that all the hardships in your life previously had been, more than worth it.

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