Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Mother's Mommy

You know how sometimes, you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror at a certain angle or you start dancing in the car to your favorite new song or you catch yourself saying things like, "nothing good happens after midnight" and you think, I am officially my mother. 

Luckily, I can't think of a better person to see in my reflection. 

I may look like my dad, but there is no doubt that I am my mother's daughter. We are so very similar from the way we make to do lists with things already done on them (just so we can cross them off) to the way we cry uncontrollably during a Publix Mother's Day commercial. 

The simple similarities make me stand back and laugh a little at times, realizing that the older I get, the more and more I act just like her. Whether it's spending 10 minutes making a bow for a present or rearranging the living room by myself at 11:00 pm because I just had a feeling it could look better. But it is the greater moments that I have experienced these past fourteen months, that make me realize that everything I am as a mother, I learned from her. 

Whether she realizes it or not, all those years she was lovingly raising me from lullabies and bubble baths to dance recitals and boyfriends, she was teaching me how to be a mom. I often find myself singing the same songs she sung to me as a child and reading the same books with the same inflections. As I read I'll Love You Forever to C before bed, I am five years old again in a room decorated in stenciled sheep, leaning on Mom's shoulder. When I sing My Favorite Things at bath time, I am six years old, in a pink and blue tiled bathroom, having my long curly hair rinsed clean with a plastic cup as I tell Mom all about my day. When I serve my family dinner and sit down to join them, I feel the same warmth and fullness that was felt at our family dinner table over something as simple and delicious as Chicken Divan.

It's easy to overlook the subtleties and the mundane of each passing day, to let them pass by without paying them a bit of attention. But, it is the mundane moments that will shape my daughter into the mother she will hopefully become one day. Something as seemingly insignificant as our car conversations and sing-a-longs will one day be something she shares with her children. The way I brush her hair and snuggle her in my lap as we read a book before bed, will be the way she does it.

How do I know these things? Because I learned them all from my mommy.

It is nearly impossible to thank someone for a lesson as great as motherhood; but today, on my second Mother's Day, I am thankful for the woman who taught me everything I know and who is an even better grandmother than she is a mother. Thank you for always being there to sing, to love, and to listen. These were the greatest gifts you could ever give me.

Happy Mother's Day!

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