Saturday, May 8, 2010

No. 0059 - Wi-Fi Mothers

When I was traveling through China about a month ago, I overheard something that caught my attention: a mother turned to her young son, about 8 or 9 years old, and asked if he needed to go pee. My first thought was, "This boy is walking and talking and everything." I wasn't bright or gifted or anything but I can vaguely remember that when I was 8 or 9, I KNEW when I needed to go pee and didn't need any reminders. My second thought was, "How come this reminds me so much of my own mother?" I can't remember any particular recent incident but I'm sure my mother has uttered those words even in my adult age (I'm sure she said something like this the last time she visited me here in Boston). Sad, I know, but then there is something that is worth discussing here.

You see, for as annoying and embarrassing as these pee reminders may be, more often than not they hit it dead on (at least with me), as if there is this mysterious connection between children and their mothers. It is almost like there is this full bars Wi-Fi connection. This is something that neither needs to be invented or manufactured: it is inherent! Isn't that scary? What's even scarier is that this connection is not password-protected, so she can tap in anytime she wants. If there are anything that needs to be invented, it is on stuff that can regulate this connection for privacy's sake. Something like "Norton Anti-Mom" or "Mother Firewall."

Bladder urges are just one of the many things that a mother has access to via this WiFi connection, I'm afraid. With my mother, I don't know how but she can even hack past my "shared folders" in this "network connection." I've experienced 3 major breakups in my life, and 2 out of 3 times, she called it dead on within 6-7 days of the occurrence without my saying anything at all. My mother usually works long hours so we hardly have any chances to talk on the phone. We exchange short emails and gchat occasionally, but conversations there rarely gets deep enough to talk about girls. At first I thought maybe Facebook had something to do with it, but I think I do a pretty good job of keeping my profile neutral. I like to reason with empirical evidence and I think 2 out of 3 times is pretty good: that's better than a 50% chance. In fact, she probably missed incident #1 only because I jumped the gun and told her, so I may have stolen her thunder there.

Also, another thing I've learned about a mother's Wi-Fi connection is that it not only works on her own sons but also on "across son's network." When I was still in college, I always hung out at my church's Institute of Religion between classes. When I was there, I usually did a variety of things: do homework, attend classes, play pool, talk with people, general goof off stuff. One day, a senior sister missionary there (Sis. Peterson for those who remember) came up to me and said, "You can't play the piano today because they are doing something to the carpet in the room." That comment blew my mind: How did she know that I wanted to play the piano? I do not play regularly but instead on an impulse (in fact I don't think I ever decided to play more than 5 mins before I decided that I wanted to), so I don't think it was a pattern recognition on her part. I asked her how she knew that I wanted to go play then, and she said it has something to do with my making popcorn at the microwave. I was like, "What?! That made no sense!"

Considering this is Mother's Day, this one is for you Mom. I know I don't say it enough, but I love you (but you would know this already since you have this transcontinental Wi-Fi connection on me). Happy Mother's Day!