This Mother’s Day, I Am Talking About Role Reversal

It struck me how it is a role reversal of sorts when children get older and are ready to advise Mom and teach her things that she never knew before.

A piece of friendly advice came from the younger man of the house: “I know that every day is Mother’s Day, but Mama, please don’t write that in your post this year!”

I had no clue that I was repeating that line so often. I was secretly amused. Well, he certainly inspired me to think differently as I sat down to put my words together.

It struck me how it is a role reversal of sorts when children get older and are ready to advise Mom and teach her things that she never knew before. And not just that, they naturally inherit the same worries or concerns that their mothers have for them.

It’s my turn now to worry about my mom!

Like my mother, I am now the eternal worrier. Our generation grew up minus the cell phone. So whenever my brother and I were out of the house, there was no way to check on us. I remember my mom being stressed out if we were a little late in returning home. She would make endless trips to the doorway to see if we were back.

In a slightly different situation, I am now in my mom’s shoes. I expect my mother to pick up the phone the moment it rings. If she doesn’t, I just don’t think that she may not be next to it. Immediately I start worrying if she is fine and make a dozen more calls until I hear her voice.

Questions for me from my “no longer little” boy

Flashback 2003: Smiles beamed from one ear to another as moms and their 6 year-olds flooded the room. It was a celebration in a first-grade classroom for the upcoming Mother’s Day! The kids made placemats with their moms’ picture and a line underneath: “You are my cup of tea”.

My child and I were part of that group. Sitting next to me, he had a bunch of questions. Did I like his artwork? Was his handwriting nice? How beautiful was the song that they had sung?

The innocence, simplicity, and curiosity bowled me over. Twenty years later, I am still overwhelmed with emotions whenever I see the earnestness; it’s just that the questions have changed as has the scenario:

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  • My son asks why I had not avoided going outdoors when the pollen count was so high. That will undoubtedly trigger my allergies, he feels.
  • Why have I been working so hard and tiring myself?
  • COVID gave him another chance to boss over me. Why was I being negligent to let my guard off and step out of the house minus my mask?

Now I am answerable to him, and I enjoy doing so because I am touched by his caring concern for me!

The culinary journey comes full circle

Usually moms are the ones who indulge the taste buds of their kids with scrumptious specialty cuisines. But it is such a joy when your son or daughter instead picks up an exotic dish and gleefully takes the time to whip it up and serve it in front of you!

I’ve lost track of the number of times that my boy has vehemently insisted on taking charge of the kitchen for the night’s meal. He always makes sure to tell me, “Don’t worry, mom; I’ve got this!” My friend in Kolkata shared how her son, tucked in New York, sends her countless recipes of new, unknown meals and desserts that she had never thought of making in thirty one years.

Hard to believe how the tables have turned!

The teacher becomes the student!

I cry out in nervousness that I have deleted a document that I have been working on for hours. But when you have someone from Generation Z living under the same roof, you will inevitably have your hero coming to your rescue!

“Mom, you’ve raised a false alarm! I restored your piece! Don’t panic so soon!” says my boy! I let out a sigh of relief. I wonder if this is the same little tyke to whom I had taught the alphabet, the numbers, the colours, and many more things.

It is even more endearing to see my 26 year-old trying to make Grandma tech savvy! He explains in the simplest of terms what ChatGPT means to my mother. I can’t vouch for the success rate of this endeavor. But it makes me immensely happy to see a dedicated grandson trying his best to explain and an equally sincere grandmother eager to grasp at least some teeny bit that she can! I wish I could freeze that moment forever.

Raising a toast to a special bond

It is so heartwarming to see the changing dynamics when the elder takes the backseat and is cared for. And here lies the beauty of a relationship that is born organically between mommies and their offspring! Be assured that irritation is part of the package because you can’t avoid being driven nuts by your children. Yet motherhood is among the most coveted statuses.

Here’s to wishing that all moms are pampered to the core on this special day! Happy Mother’s Day!

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About the Author

Rashmi Bora Das

Rashmi Bora Das is a freelance writer settled in the suburbs of Atlanta. She has a master’s degree in English from India, and a second master’s in Public Administration from the University of read more...

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