Thursday, 10 May 2012

Am I My Mother?

I hear of people becoming their mothers all the time. As we grow older, we adopt their reasonable views of the world, their khaki trousers, sensible shoes and-- if we are very lucky-- their patience, understanding, and tenacity. (But hopefully never their fanny packs. Really, Mom, what were you thinking?!)

Or maybe that is just me.

Seriously, though, the lessons my mom has taught me go far beyond "Do your best" and "Clean up the kitchen when you are done making brownies." The lessons I've learned from her are less direct, less explicit. I have to incorporate them into my life before I ever even notice I've learned them at all.

I have, though-- at least, some of them.
I hear her words when I speak to Clover and Neptune. "Let's find a compromise," I say. "Let's try it and see," I suggest. "I'd love to chaperone your field trip/volunteer in your classroom/listen to you practice your presentation for the 800th time!" I enthuse-- and I mean it sincerely. (Incidentally, I don't hear her when I say "I have asked you 6 times to put your shoes on! Why aren't you wearing shoes?!" What can I tell you? I'm a work in progress.)

I had a messy, creative, adventurous childhood, and it was the very best. I had space to create, to try, to make mistakes, to sing silly songs, to cry even if nothing truly terrible had actually happened.

She followed my lead when it came to my passions, but shared her own with me as well. She has given me kindness, a sense of humor, and the ability to laugh at my own mistakes. She has taught me to appreciate the small things, because sometimes that makes all the difference. The rest of my family (and many people in my life, actually) remain stunned by our joint ability to get joy out of just about anything.

I am still learning from her, and learning more about the lessons she instilled in me a long time ago. Listen to others-- adults, and children. Their thoughts and beliefs have value. Apologise when you do something wrong. Follow through on commitments. Keep your promises.

And, in case I didn't already appreciate the influence she has on me, I had a startling experience the other day. Waiting for Clover outside a dressing room, I glanced to my left and saw a mirror. In the reflection... My mother. Khaki trousers and cute shoes. I got the point.


  1. It's a scary realization, isn't it? I can relate completely to that moment.

    1. Haha oh I don't know. It's certainly startling! Luckily, I like and respect my mom very much, so at least there isn't the fear element...

  2. There are worse things you could be...LOL!

  3. I loved this thought about your childhood. "I had a messy, creative, adventurous childhood." For that is surely what my children have. And I beat myself up for the lack of structure and over all order. But I know there have to be positives. Some days I'm just more confident in that fact than others.

    1. I think a messy, creative, and adventurous childhood is the very best kind a kid can have :) My mom also is supremely organised, so my childhood that twist to it too, but we never had "reading time" or anything like that. Family dinners, yes. Chores, yes. Assigned activities? Nope. (Aside from things like Girl Scouts)