I am not my mother…
-because I have never, not even once, put a used tissue in my purse and then later, offered it to someone else to use.
-because I do not have to use a step stool to reach high cabinets and shelves. Those high spots were built for me.
-because I throw everything away. Everything. I don’t like to keep clutter, mess, well, anything really. My house is always clean because I don’t let anyone keep anything. Recently we helped my parents move and I came across a calendar with meal plans my mom made in 1994. When I was 13 years old. So if you ever wondered what I was eating during April and May of 1994, I could actually tell you.
-because my daughters are growing up without one single note from Sandi Patti filling the house.
-because I never decorated a whole room with a feather duster dipped in paint. Or covered anything with sponge paint. (But I do feel that my generation’s sponge paint is chevron. We’ll see how that plays out in twenty years.)
-because I will NEVER think I can give a perm or trim bangs on any of my offspring. I had bangs that started at the CROWN OF MY HEAD and then made their way up because my mom kept combing more forward to try and cover the crooked mess she had created. Some wounds never heal, Mom.
-because I do not know the name of one plant, flower, or tree. My mom grew yards of flowers and knew the name of every single one of them. If you ask me my favorite flower, I’ll just answer “white ones.”
-because I can’t make clothes, curtains, blankets, Halloween costumes, chair covers, throw pillows, or a million other things my mom can create from something like a single spool of thread and one square foot of fabric.
I am my mother…
-because of my love of books, office supplies, and learning. If it had been a different time and place, I’m sure my mom would have gone to college and become a teacher. But it didn’t happen for her so she raised three children who all became teachers. The sad irony of that is not lost on me.
-because of my nostrils. Thanks, Ruth.
-due to my love of lists, meal planning, and shopping lists. Want to get me excited about something? PUT IT ON A LIST.
-because I spend the first moments of my day with Jesus. My mom’s quiet example of sitting on the couch every morning with her Bible and journals wasn’t lost on me growing up even though I’m pretty sure it looked like I wasn’t paying attention.
-because of my ability to have forty purses in the closet but only carry one of them for six months.
-due to my talent of underestimating how long it will take me to get ready every single day.
-because I still believe in the power of handwritten letters, snail mail, and a thank-you card for every gift.
As a child, I was difficult and strong-willed. (No comment on my current status.) Mark Twain once said, “My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.” That would sum up my childhood well and explain why she ended up on the couch with Jesus each morning, I believe. She just needed the strength.
Now as a mom–who has some strong-willed and feisty girls of her own–I appreciate her more, understand her more, and love her more than I could have thought possible twenty years ago.
I guess that’s the joy of growing older, you learn how to love people better. And you hope to become more like the good ones you’ve met.
As a mom, I am thankful you recognize the many gifts your mom shared.
And what’s wrong with a little Sandi Patti???
Oh, geez. I’m scarred from so much Sandi Patti. TOO MUCH.
I love this. Many of these are true for me too.
Thanks, Janna. 🙂
I love this! This was so sweet. I love my mommy too;-)
🙂 Moms are good, huh? Thanks, Mia.
Sharon Lynch says
This was perfect. My mom passed away in October, and I opened this today and knew it was for me! You have inspired me to write my own “I am not/I am” list.
Sharon Lynch says
Also, today is Mom’s birthday.
Happy birthday, Mom! I’m so glad you’ve been inspired to write your own list–what a precious way to remember your mom. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Sharon.
I never felt closer to my mother than the first time I gave birth. Perhaps it was because it was the first thing I really recognized as something we had in common. Our relationship was always a rocky one. As I’ve gotten older, and I’ve become a real “orphan,” I see Mom’s influence over my life and enjoy all the ways in which we did love each other, even though it wasn’t easy to express. Your blog got me thinking. Thank you, Mary.
Relationships with moms are some of the most complex and hard, Marjorie. Glad you can look back and see the good too. 🙂
Oh, Mary, what a dear post! You are so very right! I LOVE the title and how you laid out this piece! My husband chuckles as he watches our daughter (married with two daughters of her own,15, and 13) try to not be like me and yet becomes more like me in some ways than ever before. I smile when I see her 15 year old who looks like her and acts like her gets in trouble from her mama doing the same things her mama did when she was 15!! Of course, her mama doesn’t recall that.
What a fun post to read at the end of my day today!
I feel I’m going to be in the same boat as your daughter…when my girls are teenagers, ayyy. I’m already praying about it and they’re only 4 and 6! ha. Thanks for reading, Pam. 🙂
I <3 RUTH!!!
🙂 🙂 Thanks, Heather. Love your mama, too.
Christie Felker says
So great! It is point of pride that my home and wardrobe is chevron free.
Me. too. Down with chevron.
Hannah Beth Reid says
This is a great post! I adore the way you write about those you love…not a mushy, oversharing kind of honesty, but enough to help the reader feel the emotions.
Hannah Beth Reid says
Ok, perhaps non-oversharing wasn’t quite the right word…thinking of the 72 hour club and the peeing and running post. 😉
Haha! Occasional over-sharing with mostly restraint. How’s that?? The truth is, I’ll share anything for a laugh or to make fun or myself, other than that, I hold back some. 😉