"The protagonist Saoirse Ronan navigates a loving but turbulent relationship with her strong-willed mother", as Greta Gerwig's Ladybird is described by Rotten Tomatoes. “Loving but turbulent” — perhaps for most people, their relationship with their parents will always be multi-dimensional, and that is why the movie will always remain special to me.

Today I am writing this blog from my parents' house, isolating myself in the room I grew up in, after a turbulent conversation with my mother. My relationship with my mom has always been difficult to define in a single-encompassing word. I am not the template of a daughter she imagined. She struggles to grow out of the template of the mother she was.

A parent and child relationship is interesting in terms of pshycology.

There is a layer of care-giver and care-receiver when you're young. Then during adolescence to your mid-thirties, you both want to assert your identities onto each other. I want to show her that I have grown up, I have built my world, and I am perceptive of the environment around me. She has an understanding that I am still a child and have yet much to learn and yet to grow into a mould which is similar to hers. There is a sense where the parent still wants authority over her child, even if her child is 32 turning 33. Sometimes I comply, but other times I run out of patience, exasperated by the fear that this dynamic will never change. We were over this! This power struggle I continuously rebelled against as a teenager, and yet here we are...

The child is the lens through which the parent gets to view the modern world— the youth that is wasted on the young, as they go about displaying behaviours of their generation. Perhaps the young inquisitive minds with their indefatigable questioning also force the generational yesteryears to adapt or even forcefit into new ways of thinking, of new ways of being.

Sometimes the child is a projection, the parent shows around consciously or subconsciously— a projection of dreams the parent wished to fulfil in their youth and the fears they never wanted for their child to come true. Somehow in the court of adulthood, the success and the failures of the child are the trials of your methods as the parent. What values I inculcate into my morality are the second-order effects of my viewing of the world from the windows of my home, the narrative set by my parent's account and my appreciation or rejection of it.

Sometimes the child is a reflection, the way I have eyes just like my dad, the way I sneeze just like a grandma I barely met but also the way my love language is cooking and my inability to confront close relationships is just like my mother, who has no physical or intellectual resemblance to me.

There are days when the parent and the child both acknowledge each other as two adults who are just trying in their capacity to be the best they can be despite the shortcomings or the lack of resourcefulness of destiny. There is the ease of familiarity, the forgiveness of time and the banter of a friendship you are secure about.

Then there are days when the child is the parent and the parent is a child. The son parents his mom to stop ignoring the toothache she has been complaining about since forever, and the daughter chides her father for losing his cool on a non-thing out of impulsiveness. The children, often more observant and aware than the couple that birthed and raised them pick the hats of the counsellor the parents refused to visit denying their need.

And lastly, even after all these years, a child is still a child and will always be a child looking for their mother to mother them and a father to father them.

All these layers simultaneously exist without a spoken word between the parent and the child on which part we will play next.

While we are free to adapt to any mould we set our mind to, there will always remain an incorrigible part of our moulds that has unshakeable roots from our childhood homes.

This scene thoughhh....


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