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Thursday, 19 February 2009

mam_en_kim2.png'Life itself is my school'

One of my earlier childhood memories is the image of my mum bent over a sewing machine. While my dad was getting another degree, she was home alone at night with us kids. We used to play together as she sewed our clothes. I loved my white dress with the pink apron, but I hated the blue skirt she made for me. That must have hurt her after all the hours of patiently creating these clothes.

My mum grew up amidst drunken neighbors. Her dad's café was connected to the family house through one door. She remembers being sent for groceries by them after which they would give her a dime. 'Little lighthouse' they would call her, being covered by freckles and having carrot-colored hair.

'She was wearing green pants and a matching jacket and looked simply amazing' my dad recalls about the night they met. She was 18, he was 20 and ten years later they had married and she was a fulltime mum of three. mam_en_oom2.png

Growing up in the '60's and '70's, my mum was never a hippy fighting for the emancipation of women. Instead, she emancipated herself through doing all kinds of courses, being involved in community work and devouring thousands of books. When my dad started his own business at a critical age, she supported him with her love and inheritance. In the tough start-up years, she went back to work. In a fashion store, like she had always done and enjoyed a lot. At one point, they didn't need her anymore. She was 52 and full of energy. 'It's a shame I don't have the education you have', she said to me. But then, could she have been the mum, she has always been to me?

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