Only a mother

Only a mother

The alarm buzzes at 4am. I have a flight to catch at 7:30. I snooze and curl back up under the sheets. My mother comes and pokes me. “What do you want to eat for the flight?”  I’ve had four very restless hours of sleep on a lousy mattress. Groggily I tell her that I don’t want anything and if I get hungry I will pick something up at the airport. She persists. “No! You won’t get anything on the flight and the airport food is really bad. I will pack for you okay. What do you want?” I curse myself for booking a budget airline. I get up and snap at her, “Can you just leave it mom? I’ll manage.. I’m not a kid ok..” I was hoping to elicit a reply of ‘Fine, do whatever you want.’ but she was headed for the kitchen.

Showered and set to go, I wait for my ride. She gives me a small box in which she’s packed some bread and curry which reeked of coconut and spices. I ask her, “You expect me to eat this on the flight with people sitting next to me ??” Adamantly she replies, “ I forgot to buy eggs yesterday otherwise would have made you an omelette sandwich. And anyway who cares?? If anything is left over you can have it when you get back home.”  I sigh, give her a quick hug and escape. “Don’t forget to buy water!!” is the last thing I hear as I shut the door. Airport regulations prevented her from packing that as well.
Somewhere in the sky I sit and stare out at the little patches of bear-feet shaped clouds.  My tummy rumbles. I pull out my handbag and take out the food.  She’s packed a napkin as well.

The flight attendants walking by seemed worried to see this crazy woman crying as she chomped down her food.

Only a mother can take crap from her children and still toil for them.  Only a mother knows when to listen and when not to.  Only a mother has a never-expiring license of tolerance.

Only a mother can remember to pack a napkin.

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