The other day I admonished my son: “Don’t just dump your school things on the floor as soon as you walk in the door! Put it away!”
As I said the words, I could hear the echo of my own mother telling me the exact same thing.
And I realized that I’ve turned into my mother.
I’m obviously not exactly like her, but I see her in myself in the little things. When I can no longer be patient with my kids and tell them that “I’ve had it up to here!” Or when I bemoan the fact that the house was clean in the morning, but looks like a disaster zone by bedtime.
And each time I say these things, I remember being a kid and my mother saying the exact same thing.
As a kid you think you will grow up and be nothing like your parents. After all, they’re pretty old (being in their thirties or forties). And they clearly don’t know as much as you do. You will be your own person and make your own decisions, and those won’t be the decisions your parents made.
But what my younger self didn’t realize was how hard my parents had it. My father is a farmer, and farmers work incredibly long hours. My mother alone was home with us 6 days per week, often for all of our waking hours. And with four children, we were incessantly asking for a referee, a cook, a comforter, and cleaner, a personal assistant, a laundress, and an adviser. I can only imagine how exhausted my mother was by the end of the day. And now with children of my own, I empathize with how my she must have felt. I know how hard she worked, and how long those days must have felt at times. I also know she was a wonderful mother to us.
So now, instead of being sad that I sound like my mother, these little things that remind me of her make me proud. Because she is someone that I love and admire.
I guess I’ve turned into my mother. And I’m pretty happy about it.