The other day I saw a quote posted on Facebook that said “Sometimes when I open my mouth my mother comes out” and I loved it, well technically, I just “liked” it but those are the limitations of social media. There was a time, I am sure, when this outcome would have appalled me, in my teens perhaps, when my mother was, ‘so annoying’. I still cringe to think about those years and what came out of MY mouth and that I lived to tell about it. From the moment I became a mother, I was completely overwhelmed with love for my children, which turned into feeling overwhelmed that this was how much my parents have loved me, no matter what (teen years). It’s just something I couldn’t grasp until I experienced it as a mother, and it sunk in, deeply.
Ever since my first son was born, I have looked at both of my parents through a new lens and I have continued to hope that I can be at least fractionally as amazing as they have been to me and as they have been as human beings. This is especially true of my mother who, by the way, is definitely not annoying.
Now, however, when I think about the prospect of “turning into my mother” my thoughts are more hopeful than dreadful, as in, I hope there’s a chance that I will. She is amazing, and brilliant and accomplished and beautiful and so utterly selfless and thoughtful. Ugh, the thoughtfulness is unmatchable by anyone I’ve ever known. If you happen to mention you are out coffee and you just went to Wegmans and your child fussed so much in the store that you forgot to get coffee, she shows up at your house with a bag of K-cups because she was just nearby, and then she feels bad that she didn’t think to bring you any decaf for night time (It’s ok mom, I had wine). When, on family vacation, little man gets up before the sun, and she says, “I’m already up, I’ll take him for a walk, you go back to sleep.” Or if you call her and you are crying or stressed because little one won’t sleep and hasn’t slept and you can’t figure out his food allergies or his reflux or his whatever, sometimes she shows up at your door and tells you to go take a nap, or go to Target or just go. Sometimes, she is just there to keep you company when there isn’t a solution or you are too tired for Target (yes, this happens). Please, please let me turn out this way.
She worked two jobs, she worked as my mom, who was amazing (Soooo not annoying, so sorry, mom! teens!) and she was a doctor, too. She was accomplished at both, she acquired Top Doc status, but sadly not enough places honor Top Mommas, she would have achieved that, too. I’ll spend the rest of my days trying to remind her of that. Please let me be this way, too.
She listens, endlessly to all my motherhood woes, and she doesn’t even point out the irony that I, myself, inflicted these very woes upon her just a few short decades ago. She even holds in her laughter when I lament “When are they going to stop being sooooo needy?” (because clearly at 35, I still have not stopped needing, sigh). She even will listen when I tell her how sleep deprived I am after little one woke up all night and big one had insomnia, all this when she herself, post-surgical, post-radiation, can’t sleep well, and she tries to help me figure it out. And when I call a second, third, tenth time that day, she still answers, sometimes she invites me down for lunch.
Sometimes I open my mouth and I say things to my kids like “I’m going to count to three and then…” or “First, Middle, and Last name of child” or “I’ll turn this car right around” (I really said that) and I think of my mother. But also when I sing “You are My Sunshine” or read stories with great inflection, or soothe hurt feelings or hurt hurts, I also hear my mother come out. When I plan holiday surprises, or a thoughtful treat, I hear my mother come out. When I am silly or especially energetic with my kids, or creative, there she is. So many times, you hear of the idea of ‘turning into your mother’ and that prospect makes me hopeful and so when I saw a Pinterest pin that read “Every day I become a little bit more like my mother, and I couldn’t be prouder” I loved it, well, technically, I re-pinned it. Please, please, let it be true!
I hope it really is true, and that I really do have a chance of turning into a close version of my mother, that I will continue to do great things with my children’s best interest at heart. When they grow up and have children of their own hopefully I, like she, will continue to be a good example who is non-judgmental and who lets them make their own mistakes and still continues to make them feel like being a mother was the best thing that ever happened to me. Please, please!