Knowledge of a Mother Goes Beyond Cultures

Kathy - Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Entered on April 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, immigrant

I come from a family in which both my parents don’t speak fluent English. They were born and raised in Laos but came to the US hoping for a brighter and better future. My mom would always encourage me to do well in school and at the same time tell me that she doesn’t know anything and is depending on me to teach her about American culture and the language.

After what my mom has said about her not knowing anything, I remember in elementary school I would fake being sick, hoping my mom would not know I was faking. My dad usually let me cut the corners but my mom, on the other hand, would come into my room and force me out of bed. I constantly wondered how she knew that I was faking it!

Going to the night club was forbidden by my mother along with my best friend’s mom, but one day my best friend and I were convinced by our other friends to go clubbing. Later that day, we did our hair, put on makeup and got into our clubbing outfit at my house. Right before we were about to leave looking all glamorous, my parents walked through the front door. We both rushed downstairs, threw t-shirts on top of our outfits hoping that my parents would not know that we were heading out to the club that night. A few days later my mom came up to me and asked, “What didn’t I tell you about clubbing?” Once again, how did she know?

Here I am 21 years old, independent, in school, far from home; I have come to realize that my mother knows many more things than I thought she did. She is someone who is intelligent in her own way, in her motherhood way. Have a bad day at school, come home, and without asking she knows something is wrong. I remember I once asked her, “Mom why are there potholes in the street?” She being explaining how streets get potholes. In the future, when I have children of my own, and if they were to ask me random questions like that, as I did my mom, I’ll probably have to say, “Hold on honey, let me get on Google.”

My mother’s encouragement to do well in school is why I did well in school. Here I am in college and though my dad went to school, my mother never did. She may have told me or believed that she didn’t know anything. But I believe moms know what is right and what is wrong. My mother knows how to handle and fix little problems, such as sewing on a button to big, important issues like sitting her children down to talk about relationships. In this, I believe mom knows best.