tokyo tower: mom, and me, and sometimes, dad

This movie started off slowly, but ended off brilliantly and beautifully. Centred around a delinquent son’s relationship with his mother, the movie revolves around the trials that they go through in life together. It is narrated from the present, and the son’s passage through life is shown in a series of flashbacks as he advances through the stages of life: childhood, middle school, high school, college, graduation, and life beyond that. At a point in the movie, the present is reached and the story continues forward. This is a tribute to the undying love of a mother for her child, the willingness to sacrifice everything for her son without asking for anything back: a truly rare bond. If you ever have some extra time on your hands, give it a try. Whatever you do, don’t stop watching.

Not really going to go into the plot and all. I’ll leave that for you to find out for yourself. I’ve been meaning to write something on the topic of parents for a while now, but never got around to it. This movie was a good segue, and so, here it is. Originally, the word file was called “unsung heroes”. I think you’ll get an idea of why it was labelled this.

Now this might not apply to everybody…in fact I’m sure it doesn’t….but for those people who have some that actually do their jobs, then you might understand what I’m saying. There are many difficult jobs in this world: as a president, you are in charge of running your country, as a surgeon in the ER, you are responsible for saving lives, as a hobo, you have to spend every living hour trying to stay alive, as a soldier, you have to kill other living things so you yourself aren’t killed. You hear about these people every day: how another soldier died in the war, how the president drew up a new legislation, how the surgeon managed to bring a car-crash victim out of her coma. Yet there is a job that is many times more difficult, that receives little, if any, “salary”, and that receives close to no recognition at all. This job, as many of you may have already guessed, is a parent. Of course, it will be as previously described if, and only if (iff lol sorry bad math joke) you do a good job at it.

To a parent, their child is their life. Their child’s dreams become the parent’s dreams. Their child’s successes become the parent’s successes. Every moment of their day revolves around catering for the desires, the faults, the emotions, the questions and everything else that their child might have, leaving little personal time for the parent to spend. In this way, they are bankrupt of any time for themselves, and yet the steadfast parent will keep at it. What drives this dedication? Is it some sort of invisible link between the child and the parent that fuels this desire to care for the child? Could it be the fact that a child is, fundamentally, you? A child has your blood coursing through its veins (well, if you’re a guy like me, then tough luck – your children might look like you if you’re lucky…or unlucky) and so, he or she is essentially an extension of your body. For women, this might also have something to do with the ten-month pregnancy in which the baby essentially is a part of the mother’s body, dependent on her to survive. There is much suffering associated with a pregnancy, the final frontier being the pain of birth. In fact, you’d think that people would not have children, if they have to undergo such extreme pain. And yet, it happens anyways. Somehow, we are able to overcome our fear of being hurt to have this child. But then what? Then comes late nights staying up, taking care of the baby, dirty diapers, loud crying. The process of raising a child is the most taxing of all. In order to guide them correctly, the parents have to be on constant watch, careful not to let their child “stray from the path”. The parents pay to send them to school. The parents spend their time arranging events for them. The parents stay up late with their child. The parents take them to places. The parents do their best to make sure their life is the best. They do what they think is the best for their child (regardless of whether it is or isn’t the best – and besides, there is no set ‘best way’ to raise a child anyways – we are all beginners in this field).

As children we often forget that our parents, no matter how harsh they are, are humans with feelings as well. This links back to one of my previous posts: your parents were children once too. They too had their own desires, their own dreams, their own goals, their own list of things that they wanted to do. And yet, they often sacrifice some, if not all, of this just so that you, the child, can realize your dreams. This selflessness is amazing, and sometimes, unimaginable. As a result, we often end up hurting our parents, either in the things that we do, or the things that we say. We don’t see the pain that they feel when we say “I hate you” – just imagine: something that you suffered to bring into this world, something that you raised with care, something that you sacrificed everything for, turning around and saying those three words: “I hate you”. That rejection is something difficult for even the coldest human to take. We expect them to love us. We think that it is their duty to protect us, to provide for us, to cherish us, and sometimes, we may take advantage of this fact, and say things that might hurt them. When you fail at something that you are really dedicated to, you feel terrible. However, the parent, upon seeing your sadness and disappointment, feels even worse that you could not succeed – they would probably start thinking about what they did wrong, what they could have done to help you gain success. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. If you had a child, and he or she said something like “i hate you” to you, how would you feel? But, being young and carefree, and, somewhat ignorant of other peoples’ feelings, it is ultimately something difficult for youth to realize and act upon. The parents, in the end, just have to grin and bear it.

So, the parents give, give and give. And what do they get back? An occasional smile? A hug every once in a while? An eternity full of dusty memories? As a child grows up, he or she begins to distance themselves from their parents. They find their own friends outside of the family, and begin to spend more and more time with them. After spending so much effort raising something, you’d think that they’d stay with you for a bit, at least. But as soon as that time comes, the first thing we, as children, seek is independence: we want to get as far away from them as possible. Do you ever feel guilty for not spending enough time with the people that spilled blood, sweat, toil and tears to bring you up? Are you ever torn between what the right decision is? Usually, people would not give a second thought to this. What kind of loser would rather spend time with their parents than with their friends? However, remember this. Given a normal lifespan, your parents will be gone long before any of your friends pass away. Your time with them is limited. There is only so much time and then…that’s it. They’re gone. It’s too late. Too late to say goodbye. Too late to spend just a bit more time with them. Too late to go walk about in the park with them. Too late to take them out to lunch with you. Too late to apologize for stealing the two dollars from the table that cold winter morning in grade 4.

From this, parents have come to be happy about the smallest things. An afternoon visit. A phone call home. They are not greedy. They just want to see you doing well. They want to be able to leave the world knowing that they have left a capable person behind, a person who can take care of him or herself – they are ultimately raising a person who can be independent of their parents. So why not indulge them while we can? They have feelings that are very real. They have things that they want, wishes that are very, very real and that can be granted by us, as children, easily. It only takes a bit of time, consideration and love. Is that really so much to ask from somebody that has given 110% for your sake? Surely not.

This is what I think. What do you think?


5 comments on “tokyo tower: mom, and me, and sometimes, dad”

    See I’m such a good kid, neh otou-san? XD
    Anyway, I’ll come over and watch the movie along with all the anime I have to watch since I’m a very lazy kid. But I’m sure you won’t mind dayo neh? -^^-

    I can feel thee daikazoku ai~


    Otou-san is such a good kid XDD

  3. wow… long post. but I understand what you mean and get it.
    and you notice as the generations goes by, parents are sacrificing more and more for their kids, and the kids come to expect, to think they deserve whatever it is they want. but even in our own generation, kids aren’t spending enough time with their parents, who then try and make up for it by buying things (thank god we weren’t raised like that)
    um… I have no clue about what I just said. other than I was thinking about this article that I read yesterday in some magazine.

  4. omgz stop stealing my first post goddamnit. Dude thats over the world lit max word limit lawl. My life goal is to pay back my parents everything, give my dad financial freedom so he can finally retire without any debt left, buying him a nice house with a big backyard with which he could make a proper garden instead of the shitty ass small one we have. I hug my mom everyday so HA. IS THAT WHY U DECIDED TO GO EAT LUNCH WITH THEM AFTER A WEEK LONG CRUISE WITH THEM HMZ? So yea. I’m also pretty sure that not many of us buys stuff for our parents so I believe it is a good way to pay back for everything that they bought for us be it education or just christmas presents. just throwing that out there.

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