Expectations and “ho mia”

Does happiness equate to the state of mind when we feel our expectations are fully met?

DA and CBK organised my 50th bash just as requested,   quality time at home with us, us and us.  As I am writing this, reflecting on the events of the actual day.  It was beyond expectations.  I am still feeling  rather zen.   Hokkiens describe the state of achieving one’s life blessing as being “ho mia”.  And that’s exactly how I feel…..very “ho mia” indeed.

To or not to expect

I remember feeling disappointed on my 49th birthday.    No gesture , nothing from CBK. It’s as if I didn’t exist in her life .  If she didn’t bother while she’s still at home , she would definitely not bother when she heads off to college. The thought was so depressing,  I went completely berserk on mother’s day when she made no effort whatsoever again.     CBK tried to make it up after my outburst. Her belated mother’s day card is still left unopened somewhere in the house.  I have learnt  over the years, expectations often lead to disappointment.  But , we are talking about our own offspring here.  The little angels we mothers endured so much pain to give birth to.  I gave up my love for coffee, spicy tom yum and sashimi for 2 years for this no longer cute and now annoying teenager.  Not expecting her to sacrifice anything for my birthday but is it too much to expect my own flesh, blood and sweat to show some gesture on my special day ?

How DA managed my expectations 

Weeks before my 50th,  DA asked where I wanted to celebrate my birthday. I said home.   We decided on DA’s black pepper crab. CBK googled for cake ideas and was contemplating to get ice cream cake but I insisted it has to be made by her.  Our “can’t find anything in the house without her” domestic life support   (DLS) would prepare my favourite traditional hokkien birthday noodle ‘mee  suah neng”.

On my birthday, I got home around 7 pm,  half expecting a store bought cake or perhaps a premix baked attempt as I knew CBK had quite a full day after school.   The minute I stepped in, I felt rather pleased to see a sunken cake cooling on the dining table.   My annoying darling CBK baked everything from scratch right after school and then ran off to her math tuition.

DA timed everything perfectly and had dinner served just as CBK got home.   It was flower crab rather than the usual meat crab but I had no complaints.  Simply divine.  Sweet and flavorful .  I was in cloud nine at each lick of the black pepper sauce.  I asked for red eggs (another Hokkien tradition) with the noodles.  DLS prepared them exactly the way I love them .  Bright evenly coated  red eggshells and soft inside just like the Japanese soft boiled eggs.

Black pepper crab and mee sua neng
Black pepper crab and mee sua neng

When expectations are exceeded

After dinner, DA and I waited on the sofa, witnessing  CBK’s  rare display of patience while she creamed the cake .  CBK felt the centre of the cake was too plain .  We rummaged through the kitchen and got creative with some toasted coconut. My cake turned out beautifully.   It’s  the best chocolate cake ever.  I feel so “ho mia” , so blessed to have CBK put in the effort just to please her mom, yup that’s me.

CBK's effort at this cake exceeded my expecations. Best ever chocolate cake!
CBK’s effort at this cake exceeded my expecations. Best ever chocolate cake!

That’s not all.   DA and CBK threw a surprise  after the cake.  5 little gifts , with a card.   They sure did put in the effort this time.  2 books to encourage me to get back to reading.  One earphone wallet that I have been saying I needed for months. A string of hair bands so that I would stop stealing CBK’s and one hand sanitizer that I knew right away was CBK’s desperate attempt to make it up to 5 items.   Am very touched at all the effort CBK put in for my 50th birthday.  Can’t ask for anything more.   This is  the “ho mia”  to me.

Gifts I did not expect. 5 items for 50 . Do I get 6 for 60th ?
Gifts I did not expect. 5 items for 50 . Do I get 6 for 60th ?

More on expectations and what I learnt having lunch with 2 septuagenarians on my birthday in my next posting.

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