How I Became my Mother…

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When did I become my mother? I would say that I was channeling her spirit, except she isn’t dead and I don’t believe that kind of thing. (maybe I’ve just been watching too many episodes of Supernatural)  It came on so gradually that I didn’t notice it at first.  But now I am certain, I have become my mother.  Don’t get me wrong, if I become half the mother my mom was and is, I will be super mom.  But there are some things I could do without. The most obvious would be the similarities in our kids.  I have two girls, two years apart, and my sister and I are two years apart.  So now I want to call my mom every hour or so and apologize for what I know my sister and I put her through. How do I know?  Because I am now being blessed with the same experiences.  Here are just a few:

  • Sister love/hate relationship:  When my girls play together it’s cuter than watching a video of puppies and laughing babies.  I am working on a way to harness the awesomeness of their cuteness in order to bring about world peace.  But the snag in that plan….the Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde scenario.  They do not stay peaceful and freakishly adorable.  In a matter of seconds, World War 3 breaks out.  One second their giggling and sharing and hugging, the next they’re screaming, sobbing and hitting.  No one can upset them as much as their sister can.
  • The innate need to annoy each other:  What’s funny is, I can remember how much fun I had doing things to my sister that I knew drove her nuts. No matter how much she or my mom would tell me to knock it off, I never would.  (If you’re reading this mom….soooooooo sorry!) Of course she did the same to me.  Urpling is especially terrible about this.  She loves to shush Sasquatch, grab her chair and not let go during meal time, and other things she knows will irritate Sasquatch.  At this moment she is standing next to Sasquatch, shushing her. She thinks it’s hilarious and I can’t get her to stop.  Not that Sasquatch is an angel, she is just more creative.  How she picks on Urpling changes every time.
  • No touchy: The areas and objects of the house that are off limits have a gravitational force that only my daughters can feel.  They cannot seem to help themselves as they constantly must touch, climb, grab, color on, and destroy the things they know they shouldn’t. My favorite memory from childhood is when my sister and I went into the fridge, took out a gallon ice cream bucket full of homemade toffee, and ate it all.  Needless to say that did not go over well with mom.  
  • Irrational fear: Before I had kids, I was a firm believer in experiences.  Give the kids a chance to fall down, fail, and experience life.  They will learn from it.  I still think this is true, but I now struggle with the execution of this.  The smallest thing will cause me to panic.  That small rock they’re climbing on?  I’m certain they will fall off and break their head.  Bike riding without training wheels? Sasquatch will surely die.  I’m certain I will have a stroke the day she reaches driving age.  I remember wanting to scale small cliffs and my mom yelling at me to come down.  What a spoil sport!  Except now I freak out if my kids climb something a tenth of the size.
  • Built in GPS:  I seem to always be able to find things now.  Ask any of my roommates from college and they can tell you I am not a clean or organized person.  Yet the birth of my children has created a new superpower of almost always knowing where things are.  I have memories of when I would search high and low for some object only to have my mom walk in and find it in three seconds.  I now do the same thing to my kids.  (granted my oldest is only 4, so I hope their ability to find things will improve.   But I’m not holding my breath)
  • Perpetual Motion:  I am very sedentary by nature. I would love nothing more than to sit all day with good books, movies, puzzles, games, etc.  I do not like being super active.  Yet I have found I spend most of my day running around.  Mainly due to the fact that it’s just easier to take care of things right away then to let them build up. Our family would joke about this hard little chair in the middle of our home.  We would all be lounging around watching tv or reading and mom would be tearing around the house like a hurricane.   She would pause and sit for a second on that hard chair with a happy sigh.  Then after a couple of seconds would leap up and continue her vigorous activity.  Now I’m not a hurricane….more like a small thunderstorm.  But given how completely against my nature it is, I am amazed at how much running around I do all day.

I still have a lot to learn from my mom, but having kids of my own has given me a very good perspective of what she went through raising us.  So here’s to my mom, who managed to survive life with my sister and I!

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