A TALE OF TWO MAMA’S BOYS
Several dictionaries offered numerous, almost similar, definition of the term “mama’s boy.”
- “ a boy or man who is excessively influenced by or attached to his mother.”
- “A grown male who allows or desires his mother to control most aspects or decisions of his life for him.”
- “A boy or man who is considered to be overly close to his mother and often timid or overprotected.”
- “A grown male still dependent on his mother.”
- “a boy or man who is seen as weak because he is controlled or protected too much by his mother.”
Of course, in this country practically all boys are mama’s boys considering the fact that we are almost a matriarchal society much like that of Lebanon. It has been said that the Lebanese President would not decide on a sensitive issue unless his mother is aware of it. Well, in this country, we have as yet to attain such consideration.
I thought of writing this piece because I am reminded of my situation and that of my son. Both of us are mama’s boy in the strictest sense. There were minor differences like I was the eldest, he was the youngest in the brood of three, but on the whole we were practically on the same level. Both of us still slept beside our respective mothers even up to our intermediate years. In my case however, mother required me to occupy the adjacent room to the master’s bedroom while my son virtually slept on our bed even beyond his 21st birthday!
I was almost pampered by my mother, my son nearly was spoiled. My mother was still combing my hair even when I was already in high school! My son’s mother would sing lullaby so the son could sleep well, even if the son was already in college! Both of us virtually sought the counsel and advice of mother before harking on any activity. Both of us practically subsist based on the constant assistance we receive from our maternal support system. We cannot remove our sight on the permutations of her savings especially on her wallet as a matter of subsistence.
As we grew older, I pledged to impress my mother in my line of work. My son was of the same persuasion except that he envisioned staying beside his mother up until their twilight years. When her mother passed away, he was emotionally paralyzed. In my case, when my mother departed I hated the world to the point of exterminating anyone who sounded offensive. My son’s mother died of cancer, my mother died from her assailant’s knife. Both of us felt incomplete for a period. Both of us were almost without direction. We just could not imagine this planet without our mother beside us.
People think that dependency on mother is being wimpy. On the contrary, we were stronger because of her. We were more creative and kinder. We were more charitable and unconditional when we love. That of course is when and what mother tells us to do. Without mama we are left at the mercy of the elements.
There was no replacement for mother. We may lead a cavalier’s life, exploring one relationship after another, engaging friends towards our idiosyncrasies but there was only one mother who would respect us regardless of our defects and deficiencies. There was mother who despite our faults, despite our imperfections, despite our failures, despite disappointments, her presence alone could rectify everything. Mother was shield, pillar, roof, everything we call home. Without her, we are plain homeless.
Both our mothers however did not dictate on us what we would be. In my case, mother was mum when I sought her approval for me to be some kind of a hero. She would merely smile and scratch her head. In the case of my son, her mother was just amused when he proposed that he wanted to be a National Artist. Her mother would just sigh and make a sign of the cross. Our respective mothers were our court of last resort; our inspiration; our muse and the basis of encouragement.
Truth to tell, we never had that chance to be independent. We were at a loss when our respective mother left us. I merely watched how father behaved and braved the world after he was widowed. I tried the same tact when my son’s mother crossed over. Father and I just could not substitute ourselves with motherly care. I pity myself both as orphan and as widower. My son too may also pity himself.
For a mama’s boy, without mother the world is stale and colorless. It is a long drawn period of waiting until the moment would come when we would be reunited with mother in the final count.
Meanwhile, we feign contentment in a universe deprived of maternal concern.