The Prodigal Daughter – Not.
On Saturday, I was having an extraordinary dining experience at Lei Garden with my family (without my bro) when my dad turned to me and started on a conversation about my bro’s rebelliousness.
You see, my brother is now at the age where rebelliousness is at its peak : He demands his own gaming pc, the bestest and latest PS and XBox, the meanest handphone, buys branded clothes and shoes blah blah blah… And he pretty much gets all of them, to the chagrin of my mother. She pays for them all, of course. Now, he’s been taking bike lessons and aims to get a scrambler by his birthday. Basically I think it’s cool (he can fetch me everywhere now muahaha) but being parents, they disapprove of him getting a bike, so they refused to pay for it. So my bro decides to get a weekend job to raise money for it.
My dad keeps nagging at me to dissuade my brother from getting his bike license, but being a cool sister and having been there and done that, I know talking to my brother about it would be like teaching a fish to jump hoops. Not only would my blood bubble beyond boiling point, it would make our now-peaceful relationship worse. So I told my dad on Saturday nicely (I was in a good mood with all the good food) that it’s no use, that his son is beyond help. Then he said something that made me choke on my bamboo clam : “You were like him once right? But you’ve changed right?” While trying hard not to cough up the half chewed clam, I blinked in disbelief. Then he repeated it, “You were rebellious once, though not as bad as him, but you changed what. You changed right? You’re better now.”
I thought about it hard and long (ooh) but I can’t seem to see any change from my behaviour since I was 16. In fact, I don’t think I’ve grown up. The reason why my relationship with my parents is better now is solely because they’ve finally eased up on the tight reins and let me go out late and have a life of my own. With less control comes less antagonistic tension. In actual fact, it’s more likely that my parents have changed – not me. Why is it so hard for them to see that?
In their minds I’ll always be the rebellious daughter made good. If I told you the stories of my ‘rebellion’ you’d probably laugh at how wimpy I was. I was just being a teenager, but to them I was being the most rebellious daughter on earth. At that time, my favourite fight tactic was to shout at them to go stand in the middle of Far East Plaza and interview all the kids there. Compared to them I would be a nerd. But they don’t see that.
I’m grateful to them to have finally given me the freedom (but not all) I sought, and that’s why I find it easier to stay home sometimes instead of going out. I also find it easier to have longer-than-10 minute conversations with them now that we don’t fight about me staying out late and all that. I was never really rebellious to begin with, they’ve just gotten used to me coming home late. I haven’t changed, but they don’t see that.
I haven’t changed, for changing to be the daughter they want would mean that I have lost the fight. And the proud person in me hate to have them have such a misconception like this.