May 29, 2019

Mom’s Baby Book

Kim Hyeon-ji from Uijeongbu, Korea


In the days of my puberty, a war of nerves with Mom was my daily routine. As usual, I was scolded by Mom and banged the door, entering the room. I murmured that I would never talk with her anymore and sat in front of my desk.

I opened a book to study. Strangely, I became fastidious whenever I tried to study. So I decided to study after cleaning up, and started to arrange books on the bookshelf. Then, I found an old book that I had never seen before. Baby Book was written on the front cover. It was Mom’s baby book.

I became curious about the stories of my babyhood. On the other hand, I got nervous at the thought that I was peeping at her baby book. I carefully opened the first page, and found Mom’s wish that I could be born healthy and resemble the character of my father; it was written even before I was born. Was that why I resemble not only my father’s character but also his appearance?

After my birth, she wrote in detail about when I went asleep, what I ate, when I started to flip, and so on. As I usually slept in the morning and woke up at night, Mom too did the same. Reading that part, I felt sorry for her. But in the baby book, Mom was rather sorry to me. On the day that I had a cold, she felt sorry, writing that I had a cold because she didn’t take good care of me. On the day I cried the whole day, she felt sorry, thinking that she didn’t know what her baby needed. Whether I didn’t eat well or I was sick, she put all the blame on herself.

Mom looked different now. Everything might have been hard and unfamiliar for her to raise a baby when she was young. But she never said that she was tired, but was only filled with happiness, or sadness, depending on my conditions. I felt ashamed of myself that I had been treating her thoughtlessly so far because of my puberty. I had thought that because she is my mom, she had to see everything that her daughter did as right and she had to do all the hard things for me. I regretted all the words I spoke and the actions I did to her with that kind of mindset.

After that day, my puberty ended little by little. I came to understand my mom a little and have willingness to help her. Since my rebellious phase did not disappear in a moment, I used to grumble at her and defy her. But by reading her baby book again, I immediately reflected on myself and made my mind not to do that again.

By the next year, I will be nineteen. As far as I am a grown-up, I will not act like a baby anymore but like an adult. I showed my determination, and Mom said no matter how I acted like an adult, I would still be a baby to her. It is true that no matter how big the children grow up, they are all still babies in the eyes of their mothers.

One day, I had a time to make a presentation about my No.1 treasure in a Chinese class at school. I wrote down “My mom’s baby book.” It’s something that I can never sell at any price. It’s my No.1 treasure that contains the love of my mom! I will read it again today.