The blog and weekly journal of South Australian artist, Elaine Cheng, as she travels through Adelaide, interviewing the local cafes and restaurants. Art, inspirations, and beloved products will be inserted here and there.

My Greatest Hero


Seeing as Mother's Day is coming up this weekend, I took a little trip down nostalgia lane and rifled through my childhood photos with mom. In those days, she was my idol.

Now, she is my hero.


I didn't get to see mom very often when I was little. At the age of 36, she had left to study in New Zealand with an accounting degree. Being four at the time, I didn't think much of the situation and only knew that 'mama is busy at work and too far away to come home'. 

I wasn't sad, my grandparents raised me with the greatest love and my aunties spoiled me. When mom did come home to visit, I was thrilled, it was like Christmas.

She was always the most beautiful, the most fashionable, the most energetic woman out of everyone. She had the sweetest scent, the brightest voice, and the cheekiest personality. People would stare as she walked down the street.  


Could you imagine a little girl like me? Nothing made me more proud than to be in her arms or holding her hand as we walked about together. When she picked me up from kindergarten, I would run out of class, ahead of schedule, with the teachers chasing me down the hall.

Those first few days after seeing her off at the airport, I always felt empty.

Then one day, I was leaving the airport with her. 'We're going to Australia,' she said, 'your new home'.

I hated it. I missed my family, my relatives, my friends, the food, the language. I hated the unfamiliar landscapes, the culture. I did not know English. Mom's cooking was terrible. 


Only as I grow up now, do I truly start to appreciate what she has done for me. She was not young when she left to study overseas. She did not do it for herself, she sought to better my future.

Had I stayed in China to grow up with their strenuous education system, I would not even have had the time or piece of mind to try my hand at drawing. I wouldn't have found my greatest passion. 


Mom has always been the different one. I realise now, that was what made her stand out from the crowd. Unafraid, wild, ridiculous, our personalities create the biggest contrast and yet, it is what draws me to her and what I learn best from her.

To loosen up, be spontaneous, be aggressive, laugh more often. I have never seen her take on a battle without ferocity and vigor. She is my symbol of strength, my greatest hero. Thankyou for giving me life and being my inspiration.

With lots and lots of love for this Mother's Day,


What do you love most about your mother?