Tiger Lily Mom
thesisposted on 2014-05-01, 00:00 authored by Connie Chan
Made famous by Amy Chua's The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, the phrase "tiger mom" refers to a mother, typically of Asian descent, who practices intense and unyielding parenting methods. While my mother was strict, I don't believe the term "tiger mom" is entirely representative of her. After all, I got away with not playing the piano, violin, or any other musical instrument. My mother's complex and sometimes couoterintuitive parenting style is hard to explain, but I definitely feel the need to qualify the label of "tiger mom." There's a delicate and uoderstanding side of her that deserves recognition, especially in stark contrast to her aggressive side. A tiger lily is said to be a symbol offemale courage. Like other lilies, it also represents U!lconditionallove, kindness, and mercy. My mother's unconventional mix of rigid and relaxed parenting is one I have never seen anyone else use. I also do not know a single person who is as close to their mother as I am. When I began writing this memoir, I found myself taking mental notes whenever I ---interacted with my mother;-It-was-difficultbeingwith-her asjust-adaughter and nota-writer;- -While I tried to appreciate our time together, I also worried about remembering our environment, her movements, exactly what she said, and the way she said it. One of the greatest challenges was maintaining her voice and authenticity when I translated her primarily Chinese speech into English (we spealc "Chinglish," a mix of Chinese and English, with her relying on more Chinese and me relying on more English). I forgave myself for any poor translations because----despite my limited Chinese-! realized I was the only one who could tell this story, my story. And I will stick by that lame excuse until Google Trm1slate learns to read minds.