Published on OZIP (Indonesian magazine based in Melbourne) on May 2012, issue 32 edition.
During this time of the year, we are always reminded to appreciate and honour our mothers, to buy some flowers on the way home, or to give her some chocolates.
On this day, we might have some family gathering, or call our mothers from overseas, thanking her for what she has done and telling her that we love her.
Yet it’s done as if we fail to appreciate her for the other 364 days of the year.
Mother, the woman who has given birth to us, may be our closest person, or she may be the most distant. She may be protective and strict, or she may be lenient and submissive to her children’s demands. Yet she is a mother.
But what is a mother?
JK Rowling believes that a mother’s love can make her child cheats death. Abraham Lincoln believes that great men are born from great mothers. Barney Stinson realises that a hell of a mother can even fill the gap of not having a father. Forrest Gump knows that he succeeds because of her mother’s teaching.
So let’s consider another question. What would it be like, a world without mothers?
Here’s our day-trip towards another world, a world where no mothers exist.
When we go out to have our breakfast, the café would be packed with women in their 30s and 40s, but oddly, there are no prams to be found. They are just women who give birth to their children yet do not tend to their children’s needs, dropping their toddlers on a child care and having fun with their girlfriends.
After we are finished with our morning coffee, we walk to the city and have some sightseeing at the skyscrapers, only to realise that there are so many professional looking women entering each of the buildings. They all are pursuing their dream jobs and there’s no way that they are willing to give up all that to become a full-time stay-at-home Mom.
We then take a stroll along the park. Again, we see no prams around, and children were having soccer competition with no one’s watching them. No one is cheering when the children score a goal. It is just an oddly quiet day, with the sound of the coach’s whistle piercing our ears.
After lunch, we visit a local school nearby, and we see aggressiveness, violence, and troubles among the kids. No one has ever known what it feels to be cared and to be loved, and no one has a secured attachment with their mothers. The teachers are seen on the edge of giving up.
Looking at the time, we decide to give a visit to the hospital, a place that is always full of patients, but oddly no visitors. The neonatal clinic is full of babies who are struggling to breathe, born prematurely or with a defect. But there are no mothers who try to cuddle their newborn babies, or give that radiant smile when she heard the child’s first cry.
After a while, we make our way to the psychology clinic. Most teenagers there are anorexic, depressed, and having suicidal problems.
Just before it gets dark, we head home wondering, because we always thought that a world without mothers means there’s no one to nag you to go to bed when it’s past midnight. No one is there to tell you what to do, when to do it, and how to actually properly do the stuff.
No one is screaming to wake you up in the morning, or frantically trying to tell you to wash your face before going to bed. No one will tell you to practice your piano lessons. No one is there to treat you like a 10-year-old when you’re 25 just because in her eyes, you will be forever young.
But then, we remember looking at those motherless children’s hollow eyes, and we realise that with all those freedom, it also means there’s no breakfast in bed when you’re sick. There will be no hug after getting bullied in school during the second grade. We will hear no bedtime stories, and we will find no cooked dishes and cleaned apartment after trying hard to survive our first year in uni. We realise that there will be no one to turn to when all else fails. And we would know no love.
So what would it be, a world without mothers?
Certainly, Harry Potter would not even be alive. Abraham Lincoln would never become president, let alone a president who ended slavery. And Barney Stinson? He may be a more legen-wait for it-dary character than he already is, which may actually be a negative thing. Ted Mosby wouldn’t be telling his children on how he met their mother, and Tom Hanks would never win Oscar for being Forrest Gump.
And we just simply would not exist.
Happy Mother’s Day.
“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.”