mother mother

Growing up I had a mental file going where I would regularly store away pieces of information for later in life when I would surely need it.
I titled this file
“Ways I won’t be like my mother”

And when I was ten I filed things away like
“I will never make my kids make their bed”
“if my daughter wants to have her whole class over for a sleepover, I will let her. And I’ll even order pizza”

And when I was in junior high I added to it
“I will buy my kid expensive name brand clothes because if she is popular she will be happy”
“13 is not too young for a boyfriend”

And in highschool
“If she wants to pierce her naval why should I stand in the way of personal expression”
“It is way too embarrassing to call my daughters friends and ask if their parents will be home. I will just trust her.”

And in college
“Cs aren’t so bad. At least it is passing.”
“Padre is the perfect location for Spring Break”

And then I got married.
And I still filed away a few thoughts.
“like he can get his own damn beer”
“my husband better not talk to me like that and hopefully he can operate a washing machine”
But a few goods ones slipped in too.
Because my parents, unlike many of my friends are still married.
To each other.
And more often than not they are yelling at each other.
But sometimes I saw them dancing in the living room.
And they were always learning something together. Like golf, and sailing and cooking and country western dancing.
And maybe that would be a good thing to do with my own husband. (minus the country western dancing).

And my mom can cook. (and sew and balance her checkbook and sail a boat and can play the piano and sing on key and do a mean warrior pose and beat me at hula hoop on the wii ).
And so occasionally I would call her to ask her something simple like
What she puts in her spaghetti sauce.
And what book she was reading and if it was any good.
and a new mental file started to form.
“Things my mother knows that I don’t”
And I had to start cleaning out the old file a bit…because maybe a 13 year old doesn’t need 80$ jeans or to be trusted completely.

And then I became a mother.
And I realized that I had an awful lot to learn.
And how glad I am that I have someone to ask
when I want to know how to make a meringue on a pie stick up
or when I need someone to watch my kids because they are sick again and I just can’t miss any more work
or if maybe she wants to go shopping next time she is in town
or how to get rid of diaper rash and when to start potty training
or how to get my cholesterol down
or when my son needs a helmet and I don’t have the 3 grand to pay for it
or if she has any books I could borrow.

Let’s just say that the second file has grown a lot fatter than the first.

(and I realize that this is a little bit early for a typical mother's day post but it is part of a grown up version Mothers day project over at you know using words instead of maccaroni...although I am a little partial to pasta based jewelry).


Ann Kroeker said...

I love that this gives us a window into both you and your mom...and how you have grown in your appreciation of what she knows and who she is.

Thanks for joining the writing project--I look forward to including it in Wednesday's HighCallingBlogs post!

mommaof3 said...

Thank you for writing this!

Linzi said...

I am having one of those moments of, "Dang. Wish I wrote that!"
Great job! It warmed my heart :)

samskat said...

YOu get so much truth into your writing, it amazes me!!

Kathleen said...

This was such a blend of little girl and mature woman, giving thanks and growing in knowledge.

Margie said...

This is such a lovely post. And quite moving. And I'll bet your mother really loved it.

Cindy said...

I love this post, how our minds and opinions change when we have our own children!! I find myself thinking, is this what my parents went through!!??