Becoming Mama

Related Posts with ThumbnailsOn Sunday morning, Valentine's Day, the phone rang and it was Megan (I love caller ID!). Awww, I thought, she's calling to wish me Happy Valentine's Day.

I pick up the phone and here's what she says: "I'm just calling to let you know that I'm becoming my mother." All said with a slight smile ... and an obvious tinge of disdain.

"Oh, really?" I asked cautiously. Could it be that she's beating the hell out of Bubby with a hanger? Feeding him crushed glass for breakfast? Zipping up his tummy in his sleeper or dislocating his elbow as she put on his clothes? All things I did to the girls, of course, warranting the tinge of disdain in her voice.

(Okay, yeah, I really did do the last two but it was so totally by accident ... and left me horrified at the time, guilt-ridden for years ... and afraid of dressing my children during cold-weather months when the clothing is bulky, tight and zipper laden.)

"I'm making pink heart pancakes for Valentine's Day breakfast," Megan replied.

Oh, THAT horrible kind of thing that I did on a regular basis. It's crystal clear now and I can so understand her disdain and fear of becoming her mother.

Ha, ha, ha. We laughed about it. And we laughed about the ways we're both a little concerned about becoming our mothers.

Which is fairly common, of course. I remember my mom telling me and my sisters, "If I ever become like my mother, you better tell me." It's something I now say to my own girls after doing the spider hands gesture or the "If I Were A Rich Man" jig. (Not that I don't love ya, Mom! But you know how it is ... !)

Nothing new there. We've all read it, heard it, said it countless times before.

The thing that I find interesting about every woman's fear of becoming her mother, though, is that there's also the desire to do everything just like grandma. Books, blogs, newscasts and more mention doing this and that "just like Grandma" or following the sage advice that "Grandma used to always say ...".

Our grandmas are the wise women of the clan; our mothers are those wacky women rife with idiosyncricies that we'd rather die than imitate.

But I'm both. I'm a grandma ... and I'm a mother.

So which is it?

And at what point do our crazy mothers become our venerated sage-meisters, the women we want to cook like, clean like, love like? And not just on a personal level, but on a societal level, as a collective?

I don't get it. And I don't know whether to just bite my tongue and bide my time until I reach the sage-meister stage of life. This part of motherhood vs. grandmahood has me flummoxed.

You go ahead and ponder that and let me know your thoughts. In the meantime, the homemade heart-shaped muffin I was warming in the microwave just dinged and I'm ready to dig in to my leftover Valentine's Day breakfast.*

Today's question:

What's one way you're like your mother? And is that a good thing or a bad thing?

My answer: When I'm in a group of strangers or people I don't know very well, I talk ... way too much. And say stupid things. My mom is a talker, which is fine and good and ensures there are never any uncomfortable silences at any point ... ever. But I'm generally a much more introverted person who appreciates silence a whole lot more than I appreciate babbling just to fill conversational gaps, so I internally kick myself each and every time I do it. Which means, I guess, that, for me, it's a bad thing.

*I didn't really make heart-shaped muffins for Valentine's Day breakfast -- but only because I realized at the last minute that I didn't have any cupcake/muffin liners and the festive suggestion from Grandma Lizzie wouldn't work without liners. There's always next year!