When Did I Become Like My Mother?
When did I become like my mother? What a question for someone like me. Our family still tells stories of what a rebellious young girl I was and one of my most vivid memories is of being about 14 years old and thinking I knew it all. During one of our frequent arguments over my strong will, I remember looking at my mother with a dogged determination and saying - "I will never be like you." And at the time, I really meant it. So how did this happen?
It's not a bad thing actually. My mother is an amazing woman. I could wish for far worse things, than to become like her. I'm just surprised by how it sneaked up on me.
People always said I was like my Dad. And I was. I think.
Looking back, I can see things now that were more like my mother but I was too stubborn to admit it. I had declared that I would never be like her so I had to prove it. I guess I really wasn't so smart because being like my mother is something to be proud of.
My mother has a strong will and a sharp wit. She's smart and funny and frugal. No one can make a dollar go further than my mother. Her courage and strength is what I admire the most though. Over the years I've seen her go up against school systems, politicians, neighbors, and yes, even family, to defend her children or the life she wanted for her family. My mom is fearless when her children are threatened.
The Teen Years
I made my Mom's life a living hell when I was a teenager. Authority meant little to me and I proved it, many times. To try and control me was the surest way to find out that it couldn't be done. Discipline was nothing more than a temporary inconvenience; something that would pass and let me get back to the business of being a rebel. I regret those times and what I put my mother through. But I can't change them and we have put them where they belong - in the past.
Youth, Marriage, Divorce, and Maturity
As a young adult, my Mom and I became best friends. She supported me in everything I did and we shared each milestone together, in ways that only a mother and daughter can. They are precious memories now and helped to heal a lot of the wounds from those teen years. Maturity was a friend to both of us and we began to understand each other as women of different generations.
Mom still taught by example and with her leading the way, I embraced the concepts of accountability, responsibility, kindness, and justice. I learned to laugh at myself and to apologize when I was wrong. My Mom taught me to be a lady, not a prissy lady, but a lady all the same. I remember her saying - "a women needs to maintain a little mystery". She was right - again.
Mom always told us that it was the little things that mattered the most and that if you took care of those things, the rest would be okay. I still try to tackle the bigger problem first but, I'm learning.
All the lessons my mother tried to share with me must have impaled themselves in that place called "self" in spite of me. When Mom and I had a disagreement recently, I resorted back to my childish behavior and abruptly terminated the conversation and came home. In the short time it took me to drive the four miles between her home and mine, my Mom sent an email. It was waiting for me when I arrived. It said simply - "Our problem is that we are cut from the same cloth. Love, Mom".
As you might imagine, that was not what I wanted to hear. The dust has settled now though and I have thought about those words a thousand times. I've read and re-read that email over and over and over again. It has finally sunk in - I have become like my mother. And you know, I have always been wrong. Being like my mother is an honor and I am proud to be like her. What a foolish girl I was, back then.
More About Mothers From Me and Other Hubbers
- Mom, Do You Believe In Angels?
Thirteen years ago my mother suffered a debilitating stroke. This is my letter to her, thanking her for loving her family enough to do the work that kept her with us these thirteen years.
- Adoption: A Letter To My Birth Mother Who I Never Knew
Adoption for birth mothers is a difficult decision; in the case of this author, it was the right decision made by his birth mother.
- Am I Turning Into My MOTHER?
Am I turning into my mother? As a teenager, I would have been so horrified at that idea! Never, I said then, will my life resemble my mother's life!
- The Mother-Daughter Relationship, Part I