I Never Thought I Wanted to Be Just Like Her
It was beautiful outside that day. The sun was shining, and the birds were singing. Then, all of a sudden, a bolt of lightning struck me from out of nowhere. I heard these words, “Shut the door, were you raised in a barn?” coming out of MY mouth. I desperately wanted to be able to suck those words back into my mouth. In my head, I was shouting, “This can’t be, I sound like my mother! Arghh, I am becoming my mother!” How many times have you said to yourself, “Don’t ever become like your mother.” It isn’t that my mom is a bad person in any way, shape or form, but I have always insisted that I will never be like her. We don’t have the same taste in clothing, décor, music or anything else.
I sounded just like her. My mind flashed back to the numerous times my brother, and I would traipse in and out of the house for a drink of water, to go to the bathroom or get something to eat. We were kids who swung the door open but could never quite swing it shut. After all, we weren’t going to be inside for long. The funny thing was, it didn’t matter where Mom was in the house. She could always tell the door was open. It was as if she had supersonic hearing and x-ray eyes. We would get whatever we needed and get ready to run back out of the house only to hear her say, “Don’t slam the door!” I was always impressed she knew when we were going back out of the house too.
I thought it was a fluke at first, thinking I would never repeat anything else she said, but I was wrong. The older I became the more bits and pieces of her I found slipping out of my mouth. The next thing I knew, there came a day when we even shared the same opinion about something. I thought I was going to pass out with that revelation. The next thing I knew, I told her I liked her heels. What??? However, they were cute. They were black and white with little polka dots and very fashionable on her 5’3” frame. I love it that she loves blouses with sparkles and always dresses to the nines even if she is just going to her favorite hang-out, Wendy’s.
Then came the lipstick. My mom has worn lipstick as long as I can remember. Her color was called “Red Hot.” There weren’t many moms who wore that color, and everyone made comments about her lipstick. She was a confident woman who never allowed anyone else make her march to the beat of their drum. These days she has traded in her “Red Hot” lipstick for a more subtle tone, but she is still wearing lipstick and um, so am I. Yes, I’m the confident woman who now wears red lipstick and marches to the beat of my own drum.
I love bright colors and sparkly clothes. It doesn’t matter that I wear them all year long. I love how they make people happy, and I smile when they say, “We all could use your sparkle today,” even if I’m only at the grocery store.
The very thing I said I never wanted has happened. I am just like my mom! She has instilled in me the importance of loving people and not things, shared the value of spending time with family, and given the gift of unconditional love. These are attributes I treasure and hold close to my own heart.
My mom didn’t have a great relationship with her mom. She chose to break the cycle of abuse in her family in order to free the generations of women to come, including myself and my daughter. She is a warrior!
The older I become, the more I appreciate my mom. The many life lessons she has taught me have made me recognize life isn’t about what you become, but who you become and I want to be just like her.