“What did you eat?”
“Ma, I’ll have dinner later. Just got here and my friends are waiting. Gotta go!”
“Okay. Don’t sleep hungry or leave too late. It isn’t safe.”
“Yes, yes. YESSS. BYEEE!”
You hang up and head to the party. At home, your mother sits holding a dead phone tone to her ear, cut away from your life, yet again.
All she wanted was to talk a little and find out about your day. She has no clue where you are, who you’re with or what you’re doing.
She misses you.
But, alas, this is what standard communication with mommy and daddy has come down to.
We, as a generation, are too cool and too busy. We have new value systems. With so many attractions vying for our attention, parents are reduced to just small specks of concern.
Why is it that we have all the time for everything else in the world but none for the people who created us? We literally owe our existence to them. The least we can do is give them the importance they deserve.
These half-hearted attempts at keeping our procreators involved or trying to become a part of their lives aren’t fooling anyone. Not even you.
Precious years are flying by but we remain blissfully distracted and oblivious. The time to make memories won’t come back. It’s slipping from our fingers faster than sand.
We clung to them as toddlers, took our first steps holding their hands, went home running when bullied at school, and cried to them whenever we were fucked up.
They stayed up nights, fed us, clothed us, educated us, and gave us the opportunities they didn’t have. We needed them back then. They need us now.
How will we ever know what they’re thinking about, unless we ask?
Or do we simply not care anymore?
Just the other day, I was stepping out for a gig when I saw my mother curled up on the couch, reading a book. I went to kiss her bye and saw her expression. She didn’t look too well but obviously didn’t say a word about it.
I cancelled my plans immediately and went to make her a cup of tea instead. That night, mom and I talked until way past 3 AM. She seemed much better surprisingly soon.
This is the difference a heart-to-heart can make.
Heck, we should be giving our parents a lot of our time because they’re ageing while we get busy doing other things. Over the years, they’re going to start getting old.
For parents, children will always be of utmost importance. We remain top priority at all times. Then why can’t it be the other way round as well?
Unfortunately, we fail to return the favour more often than acceptable.
Parents aren’t even too demanding. They want us to build successful careers, make lasting friends, find ideal partners, and see the world, with or without them.
They just want us to be happy.
But we ignore them because we believe that they aren’t going anywhere. Their unconditional love and round-the-clock concern is a given. We take so much from them, but what are we giving in return?
We’re lost in our big dreams and endless possibilities. We’re rolling into the future with a million plans in tow. But what’s the point of it all when our poor parents are left behind?
Our packed schedules serve as the perfect excuse to avoid bridging this gap. We leave home early and return late. The cycle runs on loop.
Even when we’re home during weekends, we stay locked up all day. We while away hours logged onto the internet but won’t open the door to welcome them in.
We even frown when they knock.
Even the customary dinnertime gathering is now fuelled by funny silence or constant pings. We’ve become too immersed in ourselves.
We find time for activities of all kinds - none involving our parents though.
We have time to browse through Facebook but none to teach our parents how to use social media.
We have time for fine dining but none to labour away in the kitchen to make a meal for them.
We have time to backpack across the globe but none to plan a holiday with family.
We have time to talk for hours on the phone but none for a real conversation with the oldies.
We have time to watch TV day and night but none to entertain them.
We have time to send a party location to 10 different people but none to inform our worried parents about our whereabouts.
We have time for bullshit and things that don’t really matter; but none to give to our parents, our caretakers, our well-wishers.
Someday, we’re all going to be on our own journeys. We won’t have our parents around forever. They’ll go too, just like everything else. Trust me, you don’t want guilt weighing you down.
So, let’s make sure they’re loved and well taken care of. Don't make them chase you; go to them yourself.
Best to buck up before it’s too late.