Cynthia: The Not So Ordinary Mother

Because it’s mother’s day here in Thailand, I decided to write about that crazy lady who have turned my world up-side-down and down-side-up so many times that I learned to make up my mind (at a very young age) which side works for me. Her unique parenting skills taught me to never budge from where I was standing, most especially if it was worth fighting for.

mama and me

Cynthia is not your usual mother. She admits this. She doesn’t coddle; that’s not her way. Her way is to let you find what you want without her influence. Don’t expect her to play ‘cotton sheets’ nor to hover about like a mother hen. She’ll show one thing to you once and then will let you fend for yourself thereafter – to decide on your own. When I was 6, after my cousin ratted me out, my mother saw me take a puff of my father’s cigarette in our balcony. Instead of dragging me inside the house and beating me until I knew the meaning of blue, she opted to just stare me down and insouciantly told my cousin before going back inside the house, “Pasagdi. Sagdan nato na siya kung ganahan siya or dili.” In English, “Leave her be. Let her decide if she likes it or not.” You must be wondering, who in their right minds would allow a six-year-old child to decide on her own if she liked smoking or not? Yes, maybe my mother was not in her right mind but this worked just fine. I remembered throwing the cigarette away after that and simmering at my cousin for being a tattle tale. Because of instances like this, I learned to make my own decisions at a very young age and discovered that I did not require other people to tell me what I wanted or did not want.

mama 1

Take note that these same instances usually happen out in the open. My mother did not care much about what other people would say. I remembered her telling me, (when she saw that I was about to cry because the other kids in school were taunting me about my flared nostrils; kids can be so cruel sometimes) “Sticks and stones, Den. Sticks and stones can hurt your bones but words can’t.” I carried this notion with me until I knew better. Of course, words can hurt and I know how powerful they are but I understood why my mother had to imprint that in my brain when I was young. I needed something to believe in while I was putting a brave face and to win my wars with teeth and claws if need be. Throughout the years, I was unruffled by people’s opinions (at least I was successful publicly) and this gave me my identity.


Life with my mother was not faultless. People who know my family are quite aware of this and it is something that I am no longer ashamed of. I have come to terms with what life was like growing up and it was just not a weapon people can use against me anymore. My relationship with my mother constantly quavered from love to hate to love again because she is not perfect. Like everyone else, she has her flaws. But unlike other people, my mother knows and does not deny her weaknesses and shortcomings. She has paid dearly for all the wrong decisions she has made and although she could not go back in time to change what happened, she still aims to do something by sharing her experiences so that other people can learn from her painful mistakes.

mama 2

One of the things that I salute my mother for is her ‘spirit.’ She never loses hope. Life may continue to throw those blows but you will never see her give up.  Giving up just don’t exist in her book. My mother is a believer of chances and that every person is entitled to as many as deemed possible; hence, anybody can keep trying as long as that person truly believes. This is why you will never hear her say ‘no’ to her children. She will urge you on and encourage you to reach for your dreams even if it means breaking her own heart.

mama 3

Definitely, a chip from the old cup. I love you, Ma.

I can go on with this but this will become a novel if I continue. In a gist, that is my mother. Avant-garde parent. Original dragon lady-terrorist. Non-conformist fighter. Eccentric grandmother. The silent confidant. Life coach. Renewed Soul.

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  1. love!

  2. Happy Mother’s Day Tita! Den, kabaw na ko asa ka naliwat in and out. wahahaha