Little did my mum know that she had planted the seed to all of this over 30 years ago.
In later primary school, I was (eventually) allowed to walk home every day, and upon my return my bag would be violently and blindly thrown into my bedroom as my sole focus was to get to the kitchen for a snack.
My mum would be waiting either by the sink, at the stove, or on the phone, with outstretched arms for a big hug and a chat – that is, if she wasn’t talking to one of the relatives (about one of the other relatives).
She was able to chat on this day, and when I asked, “What did you do today mum?”, her response of, “I did the work that nobody sees” was one I had not heard before.
At this point, my brain registered two things…. I need to ask what the hell does that mean…. Nutella sandwich first…
Turns out I had to ask for an explanation twice – not because I didn’t understand her – but rather, she didn’t understand me and the query that a mouthful of Nutella and bread had muffled.
“Oh you know. I did some vacuuming, I had to clean out the bottom of the fridge. Wash some dishes. Clean out the pantry. I put some clothes in the wash, and now I’m making dinner.”
And as clear as that, I knew exactly what she meant.
When I was younger, my mother taught me the work you do that ‘nobody sees’, is the work that ‘everybody sees’ when you don’t do it.