As I sit on my patio on a Saturday afternoon, watching my husband and my daughter play together and drinking sun tea with my oversized hat on, it basically slaps me in the face – I have become my mother.
My mom has always been my best friend. I know, I know, moms aren’t supposed to be best friends. They’re supposed to be parents. Don’t worry, my mom was a very good parent. But because of life circumstances, she was also always my best friend. That’s just the relationship we have. She’s been my #1, always there, always trusted, “person” my whole life. But I was still a typical kid who didn’t want to be anything like my mom.
The teenage days, while only a few years away, seem like a lifetime ago. But I can remember it…the eye rolls, the sighs, and especially the, “Ugh, my mother…” I swore up and down I would never be like my mom. We all did. Admit it. No matter how much you loved, respected, and looked up to your mom, you never wanted to be like her. In some way, we all wanted to be different.
And seriously, my mom is the best. She always has been. All my friends growing up agreed. But it didn’t matter, I still didn’t want to be anything like my mom. I swore I would never be worried about my garden, keep my house perfectly clean, and menu plan for my family. I swore I wouldn’t listen to “old” music and try new recipes all the time. I said I wouldn’t sort my laundry perfectly and I wouldn’t hand wash my dishes…dishwasher all the way.
I just knew I would be different. But really, what did I know?
I didn’t know then what it takes to raise a family. I didn’t know then the responsibility of being a wife and a mother. I honestly didn’t know if I even wanted to be a wife and a mother.
I didn’t know then that it was the little things that would bring me such joy, but also make me so tired. I didn’t know then that the 10 minutes in the morning before everyone else woke up would end up being my only alone time all day. I didn’t know then that I could love my family with my whole heart and whole world, but still crave just 5 seconds away from them.
I didn’t understand then that all my mom’s little quirks that annoyed me so much were her survival techniques. I didn’t understand then that the reason she kept her house organized and clean was to keep her mind at peace. I didn’t understand then that gardening was a relaxing release for her and something that was only hers. I didn’t understand then that listening to her music made sure her head wouldn’t explode from listening to children’s music for hours on end. Has anyone else sung the “Wheels on the Bus” twenty times already today? Seriously.
I didn’t understand then that she didn’t do these things for herself. She did them for us. For my brother and I. She did them so that her mind could be focused on us throughout the day. She did them so she could be at peace and spend time with her children.
And so, as I sit here finishing our menu planning for the next two weeks, tending to my garden, and listening to “old” music, I realize I have become my mother. But as it turns out, that’s a good thing.