Mommy, I Don’t Miss You Too Much

The Urban Mama
Rosina Simon
Author of “Raising a $mart Kid”. Rosina Simon is an ex-banker with an extensive experience in the financial market. She decided to take a break from work to write her first book and now involved in a project to build libraries for economically challenged children through the proceeds of her books.

My eldest daughter returned home from her first year in a U.S. college yesterday. She had so many stories to share and tales about her new friends and roommates abounded. We were taking our leisurely walk around our neighborhood when she said,

“Some of my friends talk to their moms daily. Sometimes, when their moms don’t call, they panic. ‘What’s happened to my mom?’ And they cried for days when they first entered the dorm. My eyes were teary for 15 minutes when you left and then I got over it. I guess I don’t miss you too much, Mom.”

I almost stopped in my tracks. I wanted to be the mom who spoke with her daughter often. But my daughter preferred a once a week or bi-weekly call, with online chats in between. It’s true that our 12-hour time zone difference makes it more difficult to speak and she is not a morning person, waking up when I’m asleep. Still, I wanted to know why she did not want to speak to me daily. So I asked.

She said,

“You used to travel a lot when I was younger, and even though you called home every night, I used to miss you. Do you remember that one day I called you on your cell phone when you were away and I cried on the phone as I missed you and wanted you home? I was eight I think. After that call, I told myself that I would never do that again, that I would be strong, that I would not miss anyone too much.”


credit foto: www.gettyimages.com

I was floored. My work required me to travel extensively around the Asia Pacific as well as other regions. While I always made it a point to call home every night and never missed my children’s major school events or performances, I was a Singapore Airlines’ PPS and Solitaire member for 13 years. Needless to say, I was away often. And I never realized that my traveling left such a deep impression on my daughter.

She probably felt my pain, and continued,

“Mom, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you as much as my friends love their moms. I do. It’s just that I don’t think I need to speak with you often. I don’t want to be clingy. I like being independent and I’m capable of taking care of myself. I’m more mature compared with my friends. I don’t act on impulses, I’m careful with money; I don’t drink, gamble or do drugs. You taught me to think and decide for myself every since I was young. I think you’ve raised me pretty well, Mom.”

And she smiled.

I looked at her with mixed feelings. A young lady who was confident and independent stood in front of me. One who managed to navigate 35-44 hours of trips from Singapore to her college in a small town in Florida, with multiple transits and sometimes with a one-night stay in New York. All by herself. I’m proud of her.

I caught myself thinking, would I have done it differently? A part of me says yes, I would have traveled less; but the other part of me accepts that it is what has made her who she is today. I guess there is just no simple answer.

This article appears in her second book “It Starts From Home” – a compilation of 101 parenting stories on instilling values and habits.

10 Comments

  1. eka
    Eka Wulandari Gobel December 23, 2012 at 7:52 am

    *terharu* tissue mana tissue? *lap air mata*
    anaknya mandiri & kuat banget. keren!

  2. rintul
    Rina Putri December 23, 2012 at 10:31 am

    :’)

  3. Irma Ardian
    Irma Ardian December 23, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Terharu, hiks…jd pengen beli bukunya..

  4. otty
    Pangastuti Sri Handayani December 24, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Terharu banget bacanya…

  5. fanny
    Fanny Hartanti December 24, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    ah terharu..
    walaupun mamaku jarang berpergian waktu aku kecil, tapi she’s a single mom, working 2 jobs at the same time.
    jadi mungkin itu juga maksa aku untuk ‘mandiri’.
    sekarang tinggal jauh dr nyokap, aku juga gak telpon tiap hari.. sementara ada seorang ibu (beranak 3!!) yg aku kenal tinggal dekeeet banget dengan mamanya dan tiap hari ketemu, tapi juga tetep telpon tiap hari just to discuss every single little thing; bahkan ngambil keputusan yang simple banget pun harus tanya mamanya.

    it’s so true, there is just no simple answer..
    TFS mbak.

  6. LuchiaChendana
    Luchia Chendana December 26, 2012 at 9:57 am

    “Mom, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you as much as my friends love their moms. I do. It’s just that I don’t think I need to speak with you often. I don’t want to be clingy. I like being independent and I’m capable of taking care of myself.”

    Yep sama seperti saya yang sudah 12 tahun lepas dari ortu (sejak SMA kelas 1 sekolah di pulau berbeda, berpindah 4 kali sampai hari ini). Pada akhirnya merasa menelpon setiap hari itu tidak begitu penting, tapi tidak berarti tidak menyayangi atau memperhatikan mereka :). Nice story

  7. pbasari
    pbasari December 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    nice story :)

  8. sLesTa
    shinta lestari December 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    waktu baca cerita ini di buku, gue langsung terharu dan berkaca-kaca, cuz that was me 17 years ago. sekolah di amerika, sendirian, jauh dari orang tua, yet i manage to handle things myself. ngobrol ama nyokap hanya 1-2 minggu sekali. back then, i thought that was enough, now as a mom.. and after reading this story, i realized how painful that must be for my mom.

    dan gue gak kebayang akan melalui hal yang sama dengan anak2 gue nanti. and yes, there’s no simple answer to this..

    what a wonderful sharing, mbak Rosina! thank you!

  9. dianps
    dianps December 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    berkaca-kaca…dan jadi pengen cepet-cepet pulang :(

  10. Imul
    Imul October 4, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Its really describes me when i was 12 years old, so touch…

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