Mom, This Is What I Saw When You Thought I Wasn’t Watching

· October 1, 2017

My beautiful mom, I have to thank you so much. Above all, it’s those small, genuine details that speak to your true being. Because in every daily, natural and visceral act, you show your noble and pure essence. That’s what I saw when you thought I wasn’t watching you.

Yes, I was staring at you, deeply admiring you with a pride that invaded my heart. Because when you believed that I did not notice, I could see your true soul, stripped of all artificiality, through those actions. 

Those little great details of each day that you thought I didn’t see are what make people amazing, unique, immeasurable. Mommy, thank you for all those practical lessons. By your example, I have a model of life to imitate.

What I Learned When You Thought I Wasn’t Watching You

One day, when I was very young, we went to the hospital. You had gone to visit that sick friend for whom you were so worried. Then I understood that people should take care of each other, and without expecting anything in return, for love unites them unconditionally. 

drawing of baby drinking from a bottle

On another occasion, I saw you giving bills to a mother with her child asking for money on the train. I saw you collaborate on several community projects. I saw you engaged, involved in causes that seemed foreign. You never denied aid to the needy.

In that way, I could also understand that if you have some time and/or money, it’s possible to look after the well-being of others. Of course you knew this well: “Well-understood solidarity begins at home.” You knew to cross those boundaries. You taught me the value of solidarity and generosity. 

Empathy, social conscience and kindness were teachings that reached deep into my soul. You were a compassionate being who always fought for the happiness of others, for equality and for inclusion. All of this I watched with astonishment, while you mistakenly thought I wasn’t watching you.

Another time, I remember you fed a homeless kitten. Unprotected, it cried in the street. You did not hesitate to bring some food the next time you went out to soothe its appetite and mitigate its shortcomings. Then I could appreciate that animals should be treated with love and respect.

I knew you looked happy days and nights, regardless of the fatigue, stress and shock of life. But I could also see the pain in your eyes. Sometimes you could not hold back the tears. That day, I understood that the condiment of life is sadness and pain.

These are two feelings that are falsely considered negative. However, they are necessary. They show us the light of joy that we experience. With those emotional breakdowns, you showed me, mother, that crying is normal. Regardless of a person’s sex, it is sometimes imperative.

What You Gave Me While You Thought I Wasn’t Watching You

what I saw when you thought I wasn't watching

While you mistakenly thought I was not looking at you, I saw many very interesting things. Things that marked my heart and left an indelible mark. They did me good, filled me up and, fundamentally, comforted me. Because, in truth, there is so much that you gave me.

For example, I could see how much you treasured one of my paintings with a huge smile spread across your face. That day, you pinned my drawing to the refrigerator with a magnet. So, I did not hesitate for a single second and was excited to make another. I also appreciated the way you collected each of my thousand little cards.

Every lunch and every dinner seemed a la carte. It’s just that you were trying to prepare my favorite dishes in the most healthy ways. You were always contributing to my health and wanting me to feel at ease, pampered and spoiled. You prepared my favorite cake a thousand times, just for me. The little details go a long way!

You never stopped taking care of me, as well as the house, our sweet home built on the basis of your effort and sacrifice. You are a master of patience and dedication. You pay attention to every detail for every member of the house. And now I truly understand that we must take care of what we have and what we want.

And it never mattered how badly you might have felt. Regardless of the factors that might have ruined your day, you were always there, in everything, fulfilling what you said were your obligations. Then I realized what responsibility really means.

Thank you for all that I have come to see while you thought I wasn’t watching you. Because in that way, I learned from you nothing less than life itself materialized by example. You were a verb, not a simple noun. You became a model, and since then I’ve tried to be like you so that you could be proud of me. I love you mama!

Images courtesy of Maud Tausey Fangel.