I’m Turning into my Mother

It’s official.  I’m turning into my mother.

My precious baby girl has had a little difficulty remembering to turn in her reading log at school lately.  After receiving yet another less-than-stellar grade in reading, I sat her down for a little come-to-Jesus meeting about turning in her assignments.  Her defense was the same as every other child’s on the planet.  “Mom, I didn’t mean to!”

I leaned forward on my elbows and stared her down.  “You have to mean not to!”

The exact instant that the words left my lips, I clamped my hand over my mouth.  My eyes doubled in size.  I just channeled my mother!

When I was a teenager, just the thought of turning into my mother was frightening.  After all, it would be taking a step backward since  I was already infinitely smarter and wiser than she.  Sometime during my early twenties, my mother and I began to reconcile our awkward relationship.  I was an adult, paying my own bills and building a career, but I still fibbed about my alcohol consumption and love of nicotine.  I elevated every boy I dated to saint status and only called her to check in on Sunday if I had managed to drag myself out of bed and to church.  Whenever I visited home, I began prioritizing my time for my mother in my social schedule, but partly because I wanted lasagna and gas money home.

And then my daughter was born…

My mother held my hand the day I pushed out that tiny, squalling, slimy creature.  She slept beside me in a chair despite how much I knew it pained her back.  She helped me change that first black-tar, pasty poo diaper that convinced me that my daughter had the plague.  She assured me I wasn’t the world’s worst mom because I never could get the hang of nursing.  I found myself calling her nearly every day because I needed her and she never failed to answer.

I finally understood the statement “this hurts me more than hurts you.”

I finally understood that her anger with me was only a byproduct of being worried about me.

I finally understood the fear that only comes with being a mother.

Now that I am an adult, fully independent, I no longer care if my mother is disappointed in me.  I live openly and honestly in front of her.  I lay all of my hopes and dreams, failures and fears wide open for her to see.  She never judges me – only prays for me and encourages me.  I care not if my mother sees me how I truly am, but I care more than ever in my life that I make her proud.

Today is Mother’s Day and maybe the only gift I can really give to my mom is to tell her that I am honestly proud that I am becoming more and more like her.  I am not stupid enough to believe that my daughter and I will never clash as she hits those imminent teenage years – she is my daughter after all.  I just hope on the other side of it that she will have learned from me what I learned from my mother: faith, integrity, honesty, strength, and kindness.

Love you, M*M.

“And thou shalt in thy daughter see, This picture, once, resembled thee.” – Ambrose Phillips


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