I am my Mother’s child.
I have realized this as I hear her words tumble out of my mouth, as I remember her actions through my body, as I think her thoughts through my life. I have become more like her every day, and I never thought that would happen.
I must first point out, on this Mother’s Day, that I have a lot of respect for Mom. A stay-at-home mother, she taught me how to act like a good little girl, how to bake a cake from scratch, how to use a drill and how to check my car’s oil. She told me that I could do anything I wanted, and not to let anyone stop me. She was always my biggest supporter, my guiding light, my friend.
Mom was cool.
She used to play her Motown records as she cleaned the house. She never let me buy the latest fad — she didn’t want me to look like everyone else. When I was a teenager and started to wear makeup she would stop me on my way out of the house with a suggestion that I apply a little more color because I looked too pale. She shocked neighbors by laughing at the latest gossip about my behavior, or misbehavior. She encouraged me to ignore what other people thought in favor of using my judgment. She wanted me to be an individual.
I love my Mother.
Over the years my relationship with her has changed. I am no longer a child and her approval isn’t necessary. I’d prefer to have it, but I will go ahead and do something without it. Using my judgment, after all, means just that. Using my judgment. This has caused an occasional moment of friction, but we usually get passed it. Working things out is another thing she taught me.
And so here I am, a mass of contradictions (most of which she installed personally) who tries to balance her individuality with her loyalty to her family. I am my Mother’s child.