On Becoming My Mother.
It’s a bit of a joke isn’t it? We all say it, “ I sound like my mother’, or ‘shoot me when I start sounding like my mother’.
I do sound like my mother with alarming frequency these days.
The things I never thought I’d say..
‘ Where’s it written that it’s my job to do everything…?’
“ Am I the only person who knows how to change a toilet roll?”
“ Am I a taxi-service now? “ ( actually that’s my Dad I’m channeling there).
” I’m not running a restaurant.”
“ Do you think I have a magic purse?”
“ I keep buying food but you all keep eating it.”
“ That’s it!! Pick it up or it goes in the bin, you choose!”
Then there’s the end-of-tether catch- my- mother phrases, and my kids will answer me back in ways we would never have dreamed of answering my Mum.
“ How many times do I need to ask you to put your stuff away?”
( which actually comes out, “ How.Many.Times. Do I need to ask you…”)
I don’t want to have to ask you again.
“ So don’t.”
“ don’t what?”
“ don’t ask again if you don’t want to. Ask or don’t ask, you choose.”
Discussing these things with my gal pal on the phone the other day, because that’s what I do when my kids are at school, I chat all day on the phone, I suddenly realized this is not a bad thing, not a bad thing at all.
Not bad because my mother was a wonderful woman etc… but also, not a bad thing because if I am driven to say the things she said when she was similarly driven, then does it not stand to reason that we, my brothers and I were doing the same shit my kids do?
….. and we turned out okay.
Well sort of, one of us is no longer with us and the other and I are somewhat estranged, but that’s beside my point….
I turned out okay.
I mean I wanted to be tall, rich and beautiful but I have long since mourned the loss of that dream, and here I am,
I’m okay, as people go, I think I’m an okay person. I know right from wrong, I’m kind to strangers, I’m eco-friendly ( apart from the whole 4 kids/planet resources thing),
I’m clean, I earn an honest living, I’m capable of giving and receiving love.
What more could I want ?
So looking at it in this light isn’t sounding like my Mum a good thing? A milestone even?
Maybe I should even celebrate this, that what appears to be outrageously naughty behavior is actually NORMAL, and one day, when I’m at a ceremony in honour of all four of my children becoming joint leaders of the United Nations, I’ll laugh at these days, and my sweet young things will go on to have their own sweet young things and say things like, ‘shoot me when I sound like my Mum’.
One of my Mum’s favourite sayings confounds me to this day.
When one of us would ask ‘why?’ something needed to be done,
“because I said so, that’s why”
Someone shoot me when I’m crossing that bridge….