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Honoring My Mother | In the eyes of children

You know what day this is, you hopelessly love-struck you. It might as well be called “be cute” day. This is that day of the year when flowers, roses in particular, and sweet chocolates miraculously fly off the shelf, to end up in the arms of waiting, er blushing members of the opposite sex or as some would prefer, partners.

It is that day when everyone, with special shout-out to the men folk, give themselves that much-needed pat on the back, not for reminding somebody that they mean something to them, but mostly for remembering this day at all (thank God), and not forgetting to go that extra mile in extending their “I-Love-Yous” to their own special people.

Yep, here’s to all the mothers, spouses, girlfriends, close friends, and even teachers (when you need an extra point) who are going to be on the receiving end of this “cute” day.

Like all Christmases and the other holidays, this is likewise one of those times in the calendar when every store and shopping mall dresses for the occasion to tempt those who fall prey to cute day into shelling out the precious buck out of their wallet. (Incidentally, it also happens to fall on pay day, so that thing must be pretty thick at the moment.)

Today is also the only time when the people who usually have regular stalls near memorial parks will temporarily transfer their business to nearby schools and offices to sell their flowers just for the occasion. All the while, in the flower sections of all the public markets today, roses of all colors will brighten up the sidewalk, quietly pleading “buy me, buy me!”.

All these for one day. All because you know deep inside that you need to do something nice and cute today. Or else.

When we were children, our kindergarten class in school would do a project prior to February 14, cutting up colorful papers to make valentine’s day greeting cards or necklaces and bracelets to give our moms. My mother had a collection of these when we were younger, and I guess this was because she had seen clearly that the spirit of this Valentine’s day is still most sincerely preserved in the innocence of all children everywhere, as they have never really felt any need to be “cute”.

Alas in growing up, I guess that is where things become quite different. We all learn to categorically label everything to make sense of it all. As such, we’ve adopted this grownup device of pegging special days for this and that, like Valentine’s Day for example, so everything is in box-type order. Expressing one’s affection doesn’t need to fall in those boxes, because it can be done every day.

As such, children have it easy, naturally-easy in fact, and they are never as pretentious as we have become. In hindsight. I remember one night when my partner played a DVD to lull her to sleep. She put in The Little Prince, which I have only read in the book. The part in the film where the grownups lose all sense of play, which is synonymous with children, and acting like automatons, had struck me as the spirit that rules nowadays.

We have become so stiff to the point that even feelings need to be ruled and boxed into specials days like today.

All in all, it is not difficult to celebrate and rediscover things as children would, putting aside for a while, the grownup pressures everyone encounter daily. Especially for just today. No need to feel obligated, and the film and the book says it all.

“It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

No need to be cute.

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