For the longest time, “You’re too skinny, eat more” or “You’re too fat, eat less” used to be the first thing my mom would say to me whenever I came home to visit.

Either way, she would follow up with an impossible amount of food. And the food would keep coming.

It made sense when she thought I was skin and bones. But did she want to fatten me up more when I was already chunky?

So for just as long, I thought her quick observation stemmed from her strive for perfection. An “A” was not good enough; it had to be an “A+” – that kind of drive for her children.

She never struck me as a Tiger Mom though. There was always a push to do better but never an insane aggression towards it.

One day, I asked her why she was making so much food right after we had finished lunch.

“Well, this is the only way I know to take care of you,” she said.

It turns out the years of me thinking I wasn’t right in my mother’s eyes were my misunderstanding. Being far from home, my mom rarely has the chance to see me. She doesn’t have the chance to do the one thing she has spent her lifetime doing: nurturing her children.

My mom was not trying to swipe at my looks, she was just worried – worried that I wasn’t cared for.

Beyond that, I think that deep down, her biggest worry is that she had nothing left to offer me. Nothing could be further from the truth, but that is her feeling. I suppose that she isn’t the only mom, dad, or whoever out there who feels the same way.

This is love, purely. Thank you, mom, for always thinking of me.

This Thanksgiving, let your mom, dad, and significant others know how thankful you are.