Growing up under a tight regime

By Kiran Snood

Every year, the University celebrates the importance, influence and significance of a certain someone in our lives – our mothers. We honor them with a weekend of fun activities and events, to recognize all that they have done for us.

All of us have great memories of living and growing up under our mothers’ watchful eyes. I cannot even begin to recall the amount of times my mother would tell me that she had eyes in the back of her head and me freaking out, fearful that she would know I didn’t eat that last bite of vegetable for dinner.

For me, my adolescent years at home were very challenging. As a Hindu, my family lifestyle was different than that of all my non-Indian friends. They simply did not understand why my mother had to meet all of my friends before I could go out with them, or why she had to know exactly where I was going and when I was coming back at all times.

To them, I seemed to be living under the rule of a tyrant. I, myself, thought the same thing at times.

In addition to being an Indian girl, I am the eldest daughter in my family. Therefore, I have to “set the example” for my other two sisters. Believe me, my mother never let me forget this.

Whenever I had a decision to make, my mother would always say, “Think of how this will affect the other two girls before you do it.” If I ever thought about staying up late or sneaking out, those words were always there, eating away at me.

The summer before I left for college, last summer, was a tough one for my mother and me. I had never been so ready and so anxious to leave the house and get out there on my own. The independence that I had craved for so long was finally right around the corner.

For my mother, this past summer was bittersweet. She told me that she would be fine and wouldn’t miss my constant refusal to get up in the morning for school or my laziness.

However, I knew better. I would find her sometimes, just staring out into space. When I would walk up to her, she would just have this sad look on her face, and I knew she was thinking about me leaving for school in the fall. It was then that I realized how much we had been through during my first 18 years of life. In a few short months, I would no longer be under her roof, and those watchful eyes would have to watch me from afar.

More than anything, I want to make my Mom proud. She has taught me so many things while living at home: how to take care of myself, develop a good work ethic and be responsible and mature. I always nodded “yes” when she showed me something new and told me to remember it when I was in college.

However, all those lessons would mean nothing unless I really did apply them when I went away to school.

Mom, I want you to know I am doing well. I’m almost done with my freshman year of college, and I will be ending it on a positive note. I have had to make many decisions this year, and before I did anything too crazy, I thought of you and your words of wisdom.

Would Mom approve of this? What would she think? And, most importantly, how will this affect my two younger sisters?

I just want you to know, Mom, I heard it all. I actually listened, and I still am listening.

Thank you, Mom, for teaching me so many of life’s lessons and showing me the way to learn the rest on my own.

I love you, Mom.