It’s an insult so often uttered on TV in movies that I spent a good deal of my childhood growing up dreading the idea of possibly turning into my mother (the constant reoccurring nagging wife character that is ever present on television and in movies). In no way, shape, or form would I EVER let that happen. She’s a crazy old bird that has no idea what it’s like to be me!!! Sound familiar?
My mom was a blonde, so I dyed my hair black. She played softball, I played soccer. She didn’t think I needed a cellphone in high school, so I got a job and got one on my own. She wanted me to pursue a degree in math or science, I took a liberal arts track. She started her family at 22, I swore off kids for as long as possible. On and on, I did every thing I could to distance myself from her.
At 27, I see more of my mother in me than I ever thought I would and as it turns out, she’s a pretty rad lady. She’s funny, she’s fit, and she’s so smart. We like the same movies, the same books, the same food (total sugar addicts). She’s been there to listen to me mope around about boys from the ages of 13-25, and I now see myself doing the same thing with my student workers. She took a week off of work and bought the box set of Roots on DVD to stay home and watch with me while I recovered from a breast reduction surgery (which she then also had a few years later). When I was a kid I remember her leaving every Tuesday night to get together with “the girls,” a ritual she still keeps up to this day (and something I desperately wish I could arrange with my girlfriends, maybe if we’re ever back in the same area code again). Shortly after I moved home after college I was watching TV with my dad waiting for my mom to get home from work when the phone rings – she just hit the jackpot on slot machines in the local casino and wanted us to ride up and celebrate with her (and was actually out of work over an hour ago ha). She rides on the back of my dad’s motorcycle (Sturgis bike week is to them what music festivals are to me) and was fully supportive when I made the insane, impulsive, and ridiculous decision to get a motorcycle of my own. Between the two of us, we could easily set a world record for clumsiness, there is no step too small to trip over and no glass too sturdy to break (my last apartment had paint stains on the door frame from when she kicked a paint can over by mistake 20 years ago). She goes to so many events downtown, I actually find myself jealous of her social life sometimes. A twentysomething, jealous of her mother’s social life! She and my dad have been role models for a healthy relationship (high school sweethearts happily married for 28 – or so – years), not many people can say that.
Most importantly, through thick and thin, no matter how defiant I became, my mother always been the most supportive person in my life (even when I took that liberal arts track, and registered as a *gasp* democrat). When I turned 25, I had a party in my/her back yard (hot dogs, a keg, music, friends) that she and dad came to (I mean, it was in their backyard). My mom was cracking jokes (her most quoted line of the night, “it’s not my kind of party if you have to wear shoes!) and the girls loved her. The next day, and for a while afterwards, I was bombarded with people telling me how cool my mom was and how similar the two of us are (my dad is pretty cool too, he cruises around town on a Harley for crying out loud – but this isn’t a post about dads). Just a week ago I told a coworker that I am in need my mother’s daughter, if he met my parents it would be clear that I am their daughter.. It turns out being just like my mother, isn’t such a bad thing after all.