The person I admire most is my mum. She taught me to be independent and pushed me to reach my full potential and be the person that I am today. This can be good or bad – but to be fair she is responsible for all the positive I have managed to achieve in my life. She might not make the best president for Iran (please link to my article about my mad mum) but she has definitely proved to be an extraordinary teacher as she taught me to speak up for what is right and has showed me the path to success in life.
She is no ordinary mum, she is a super mum. When Miss N and I were kids, she used to be a fulltime mum and a part-time university student and she still managed to be there for us at every high school event, party or social gathering. The one thing I can complain about is, she never read me dictation. I would read out loud from the adabiat book and wrote down at the same time. I still managed to make several spelling mistakes but I enjoyed the fact that I could get away with giving myself a 20 out of 20.
In grade two I was caught cheating in the middle of a science test. I remember justifying it in my head that going to school was for learning and that there was no point in handing in a blank test paper. So I took out the science book from my bag and flipped through the chapters to look for the answer. I was stopped by the kids in my bench, the teacher called my mum later. My mum never scolded me for what I did. Years later she told me it was a very brave thing to do and that she didn’t want to hurt my self esteem.
She bought me my first book, and even now when I show her my essays or papers she reminds me that I hated books and she asks me if I remember what my first book was. I always shamefully reply, yes mum I remember, and I sing out the first line of the book “mamali nagoo bala begoo…”…and I still remember being shocked for reading that mamali only took showers twice a week, “…mano amoomo dayim hafteyi dobar mirim hamoom…”
I was obsessed with that book for weeks, but then mum got me my second book which had a boring red cover. I was so stubborn and I didn’t touch the book for weeks. She told me I didn’t have to read it if I didn’t want to, but I did and after that, reading became a part of me. I loved poetry books. Once I wrote a poem about mum and I gave it to her when she arrived from uni. I thought to myself she is going to think it’s stupid. She looked at the piece of paper and went into deep thought. The more I looked at her face the more I felt regretful about showing her the poem. After she finished reading she looked at me who at the time was only half of her height and said “kheili ghashangeh! Khodet neveshti?” – It’s beautiful, did you write it yourself?
As a child I was so excited that I wrote another one the next day. At an age where every fifth grader wanted to become a “mohandes” or “moalem”, I knew I wanted to become a poet. I loved Saadi and that poem “mayazar moori keh daneh kesh ast keh jan darado janeh shirin khosh ast!”
Mum realized I liked writing and being creative so for my grade five’s summer vacation she enrolled me at Kanoon’s calligraphy classes. I loved getting my ‘ney’ done and then dipping it in ink. The sound of ink getting stretched on paper made me feel very artistic, but looking back at my calligraphy now it didn’t look all that great. In grade five I was selected from my school to compete in State for the best hand writing. I didn’t come first but my hand writing was put up along with a few other hand writings at an exhibition.
In grade seven I remember writing an essay about winter and alborz being hugged in snow, after reading it in class my teacher stood up while clapping and told me it was exquisite. I felt quite good about myself but on the other hand I was really bad in Maths. My highest score in Maths was probably 16 out of 20. I even got a 10 at some stage. It never bothered my mum that my Maths wasn’t as good as my adabiat, although my spelling in adabiat was also pretty bad. Okay so may be I wasn’t all that good to begin with but my mum was always there to encourage me and made me feel great about whatever I did.
In grade two I remember getting my name called at the end of the term to get a prize. I was really surprised; I wasn’t sure why my name was called. My prize had the biggest and nicest ribbon on it. I walked all the way from the back of the queue to the stand where the coordinator was standing. I stood there and inspected the jealous look on all the kids’ faces. They were probably wondering why I got a prize too. I mean after all I was the last kid to be praised for doing “well” at school. Half the time I forgot my homework at home or better, didn’t do it at all but saying this I had little miss N’s distractions at home as she always wanted to play.
Years later I found out it was mum who had given the present to school to give to me.
At the age of 10, I remember being so curious about the human body that I ended up knowing all the scientific terms for the body parts. I knew I wanted to be a heart surgeon. I got mum’s support to join the ‘helal ahmar’ – Red Crescent, and so I was learning how to save lives after a car crash, give mouth to mouth and undertake other emergency care.
In grade five my score wasn’t quite enough to get me into a top high school in Tehran. So mum being in the private sector of the education system managed to score a couple of “advantage” points to get me into Felestin, which was one of the highest ranking schools in Tehran. My life was sweet; she had even organized for me to be picked up and dropped off every day by the school bus.
So not only she taught me to read and write but she also taught me to become independent one step at a time. With her encouragements over the years I picked up painting, even now she is the biggest fan of my works. When she looks at my hideous paintings with admiration and says, “Can you do one for me,” it makes me feel like I’ve actually painted something worthwhile. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have valued my work as much as I do now. I wouldn’t have had the self esteem to get where I have today and I owe it all to her. She glossed my weakest areas with encouragement and when everyone thought I was a little dumb or stupid she believed in me.
Mum – I know I have upset you at times, but I want you to know I love you very much and I owe you my life.