The other day Jason and I got in the elevator in our building and upon seeing myself in the mirror, I declared, “I look my mom today.” Jason, without missing a beat, simply said “You look your mom every day!” Sometimes I see it, but most of the time I do not, but where facial resemblances may stop short, there are a few things that I have most definitely inherited from my mom:
Insatiable need to rearrange things
Overall low tolerance for learning anything about technology
Using household items for purposes not originally intended
Absolutely despising fluorescent lighting…..well actually , overhead lighting in general
Baking because I am bored
Loud noises putting me on edge
I’d say that most, if not all, of my neuroticism is from my mom. The apple does not fall far from the tree, especially in my case.
I was born to my mom nearly 30 years ago and I once joked with her, “You had me at hello.” From what I can gather, I was attached to my mom since infancy and would scarcely let anyone hold me but her. My parents divorced when I was 3 and I lived with my mom, so she became THE parent in my life. My mom was my world and as long as she was around, I felt safe and happy.
I have thought about what life must have been like for her, raising two daughters on her own, and can only imagine the range of emotions she must have felt, especially in the quiet of night, when she had time to think. Surely, there must have been times when she was scared; upset; filled with anxiety; felt in adequate; and perhaps wondered how this all came to be. A mother’s life is truly a life of sacrifice. When I think of all the things my mom gave up just so we could have what we needed, and often what we wanted, I feel very grateful to her.
One of the coolest things my mom ever said to me (I can’t remember if it was in person or in a card) was that she liked me. Sure, she loved me, she is my mom after all, but she liked me- the person I am. You know what they say about family- you love them, but you may not always like them. But with friends, you spend time with them because you like them; you like who they are and what it feels like to be around them. So I thought that was a pretty great thing to hear from my mom.
I love my mom, of course, but I like her, too. I have enjoyed the transition we have made in our relationship and it has been neat to get to know her more as a woman, and not just my mom.
Mom, thanks for all the memories I will carry with me forever: making chocolate chip cookies just because; The Washcloth (sorry, this is a long one to explain to those of you who do not know what I am talking about); eating “pretty” dinners (all the colors on the plate); watching “Terms of Endearment” so many times we memorized the whole movie; decorating our Christmas tree while listening to the Beach Boys; rearranging furniture like it was a sport; and so much more.
But more than anything, thanks for loving me all these years. As a parent, the best thing you ever did for me was love me. As a woman, you have shown me the importance of friendships. As a person, you have shown me the importance of giving back to others.
Even now, after being out on my own for over 12 years and being married, I still hope I make you proud and give you a sense that you did well in raising me. I am really thankful that God gave you to me to be my mom.