You all know too well that I overschedule myself and my children. I am a busy-bee cab driver, taking them from one activity to another. My children only find respite when I rotate my attention from one to the other. They run for their pause and savor every second. I am their grandmother's daughter!
Last year, for my mother's birthday, I posted Driving Miss Daisy. It became a popular post, to which many readers referred often. It was a post full of humor that I could only direct to a woman who has the strength to accept such humor: my mother.
While she never drove, she managed everything from the central office-home, sending us to our Arabic classes, forcing me to go to ballet classes, encouraging us to practice Karate and to horseback ride. She attended to our piano practices, made us train for exams. She was a tiger mom, in the height of the eighties, at a time when parenting was all Dr Spock, with few boundaries given to children. The children of the eighties are the children of the neo-hippies, the yuppies who practiced laissez faire. But my mother stood out! Her in-laws called her the Savak (Shah's secret police) with affection and due respect. In her parenting philosophy, there was no quitting, no pouting and whining, and no blase attitude allowed in her house. We finished what was on our plate and we were grateful for restaurant outings, and presents. Toys were treats received on rare occasions, and thus treasured. Every activity we started, we continued for at least 8 years. She wanted well rounded children, and busy ones too. We were always too busy to watch television or hang out with friends on school days. But our mother did all this with gentleness and love. She watched us at our ballet recitals. She clapped as we participated in horse jumping shows, even if often we fell off the horse. She admired persistence and encouraged us to overcome our fears. She pushed us toward the next karate belt. She waited outside piano examination rooms. And when we excelled, she cheered us on, and gave us the praise we deserved.
Once I had my own children, I could have either rejected my mother's ways or imitated her. It turns out that not only did I imitate her, I did even more, considering how much is offered in Dubai nowadays. But I have to say, many of the activities my children partake in were by her encouragement: namely golf and sailing, two sports she had not discovered for her own children.
We may now label my mother a "Tiger Grandmother", attending competitions, keeping up with scores and grades and approving of her daughter's incessant trips to activities, probably remembering her own maternal adrenaline. I am so proud to be following into her footsteps...
Happy Birthday to my beautiful mother and to the beloved Teta to her 8 grandchildren!