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A Mother’s Day Tale

Written by AnJ on . Posted in Family

I brought my mother and brother to the beach yesterday. Nothing special, really, except that my mother joined me on the Sayoni beach outing. Just before that, my girlfriend and I had joined her at Novena church – a place I haven’t stepped into in 15 years.

My mother went on to exchange make-up tips with my love, picked out girly clothes she thinks I ought to wear, and lamented that the child I adopted isn’t here in Singapore yet. She treated my girlfriend and herself to fancy henna artwork in Little India.

My brother, whom I am extremely proud of, is a straight man who treats my girlfriend like a member of the family, offering to buy her durian rolls and escorting her around when I am preoccupied.

I have no qualms about leaving my brother in a room full of women-loving women and trust him to honour and respect them. Neither do I have to worry about my mother, who graciously said yes when a woman asked her to dance when visiting me in the States. This is the woman who has seen me through shaved heads and long curls, binders and D-cup bras. She has met my past girlfriends and always knew which ones are crazy and which ones are good.

Now, she has grown feeble and is not in good health, but she still picks out psychedelic clothes for me with much zest and her voice still resonates when she yells at me for wearing jeans to church.

Before I met my current girlfriend, I went through three years of solitude. My mother actually sat me down, enquired whether I intended to be single for a long time and even told me to get someone – female or not. She did not want me to be all alone.

She has come a long, long way since I first came out sixteen years ago and I am fortunate to have her.

To all mothers, let us not forget their Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mothers’ Day

Written by AnJ on . Posted in Family

When i was little, my mother is my teacher, discipline mistress, chef, and source of moral stories rolled into one.

As a teacher:
She invested into my education heavily, traveling miles to fetch me to and from classes.
I was taught English by British teachers; Chinese by Mainland Chinese teachers; how to prepare for survival when disaster strikes by Ang Mos; how to paint a black goldfish and a translucent tail using a Chinese brush; how to play the piano… before i was 12 years of age.

As a discipline mistress:
She believed in “spare the rod, spoil the child”.
And so, mischievous as i was, i was well-acquainted with “Mr. Cane”. It was not one of those “you make me so angry that it went over my threshold and now you are paying for it muahahah!” sort of discipline. I was never confused why she was upset with me- she would tell me why and backed it up.

As a chef:
She would research on the latest nutritious food and cook a storm.
I drink Cantonese soup frequently because she believes in brews.
I get to savor all kinds of Chinese herbs because she says they are good for me.
So, i was kept from “heatiness” and she brewed whatever she could to “strengthen” my body.
The home-made dishes are (till today)… Low Fat, Low in Salt, completely without white sugar and very green. I eat tons of vegetables as well… because “too much meat is not good for you darling.”

As a source of moral stories:
She related stories of her life to me.
She told me of people around her- at work, at play and those in the huge family tree.
She taught me to listen patiently, to treat people with kindness and respect, to love animals, to care for the environment, to save water, to greet my neighbors whenever i see them. It was also she who cultivated in me, the love for the beach. To learn to appreciate the beautiful things of creation.
Little things… Big things…
She covered them as much as she could.

As i grew older, my mother stop using physical discipline.
Correction now takes the form of acoustic sounds- we talk.

But that’s where the challenge comes in. After i started to question the status quo, she had to back up every single argument she had that i didn’t agree with. As a parent, an elder, you wouldn’t expect an opened heart especially towards a child who “have had less rice than the salt” she ate.

But this is what i admire about my mother-
She doesn’t take the stance “I am older than you and therefore i know better forever and ever and ever Muahaha!”
She does not utilize death threats to manipulate me…
“If you don’t do as i say, i will jump outta this window! And then you will burn in hell, you unfilial child!”
Neither does she close her ears to all i have to say.
Communication is two-way… She took time to understand how i think and how i feel.

She never said sorry when she transgressed the boundaries… Some Chinese elder pride thing. But “sorry” takes other forms…
She would cook my favorite food and the issue would melt away into oblivion.

These days, our relationship is reciprocal.
We would hang out together… yes, i am Mummy’s girl.
We would set aside every Sunday for a hearty breakfast… just me and her… and we would talk about life and people.
We would share our aspirations, our dreams and ambitions. At age 50, she has ambitions! She has never stopped learning… and i am proud of her. She is one of the uneducated women of her era…  but that has not stopped her from pursuing what she loves. I admire her for her passion.
We encourage one another in our daily walk… when i told her of my challenges, she said, “Don’t worry. You will do well.”

“It’s easy to shine under your care… Thank you for loving me.”

Happy Mothers’ Day to all you wonderful mothers out there. =)


Family Values

Written by Indu on . Posted in Family

The Simpsons
“Did you hear that Marge? We are supporting family values here!”

Taken from


Family values. The big fuzzy cloud where all reasoning stops functioning.

Try as I might have, I still have yet to extract a coherent argument from any family groups all these years. How do gay people undermine the family unit? After all, if I am going to be destroying some invaluable family value by kissing girls, I should at least know what that is, right? But, I decided to do them a favour, and by painstakingly combing through several family values sites[and incurring irreparable mental trauma as a result], I am extracting the points that arent clouded by religious fervour.

Jerry Falwell, I am doing you a big favour by actually bringing some coherence to the ravings of your minions.

We will see a breakdown of the family and family values if we decide to approve same-sex marriage, and if we decide to establish homosexuality as an acceptable alternative lifestyle with all the benefits that go with equating it with the heterosexual lifestyle.   Jerry Falwell

As an argument to make the public rally for their side,  ‘family values ‘ is a worthy cause, something with great moral appeal to every one no matter what their religion. It is easy to get fathers and mothers anxious over the integrity of the family to donate, by claiming they defend family values. It is even easier to get schools and the government to approve their cause, to protect the fragile state of the modern nuclear family, endangered by a menacing environment saturated with sex and violence.

And lest we forget, family values face their most dangerous adversary today: the Homosexual. The Homosexual, in all his capitalised glory, sleeps with every other person who comes his way, and injects his veins with crystal meth. Who seduces little kids from the playgrounds and recruits teenagers to become a Homosexual, like him. Who eventually dies from being whipped one too many times by his newest lover or AIDS.

Sounds familiar?

No, I didn ‘t think so.

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