They all say it happens. We all say never! That will never happen to me. Well, let me be the first to tell you, it will. In my case, it’s not such a bad thing. And it’s not as though you get taken over by a body snatcher or something horrible. You don’t actually become them, you just become very much like them. And if you are aware of the changes while they are happening, you might be lucky enough to pick over the not so great traits and only assume the good ones. I think I may have been able to do just that….at least that is what I keep telling Brian….
It’s been a gradual transition, really. I think changes first began back in October when I found what would be our new home. We found this house totally by chance. It was not on the market, but it was for sale. There was an asking price but it was negotiable. It had every single thing that we wanted and more. A lot more….more yard than Brian wanted to keep up with, more square footage than we wanted (or needed), more things that needed fixing up, and so on. It didn’t matter. One foot in the door and I knew this was our house – this was our home. This is the house we would establish (finally) roots. I loved every square inch of this house.
Once in, I felt totally different about it than I did with any of our previous houses. I felt aware and responsible for the future of this house. Where before I would turn a blind eye to the sliver of soap about to melt down the tub drain, now I would reach in and throw it away. I have to think about our pipes! I might think twice about dumping cat litter down the toilet, those kinds of things. I have a devotion to this house like no other. I appreciate that this house has a soul – a history – and it is my responsibility to keep up its integrity.
With my new found house responsibilities, I also found a new life outside. Weeding has become theraputic. Watering and fertilizing has become a part of my life’s routine. My connection with nature is now actually a connection. I’ve now invested upwards of $70 on bird feeders and bird baths that I keep up with daily. I find myself asking my daughter to come with me to feed the birds. Of course she loves it. I laugh to myself because I can hear my mother asking her grandchildren to do the exact same thing. I’ve become my mother.
In early spring we planted a large butterfly garden. I nurtured every last flower, bush, and shrub. We waited patiently for the first sight of a butterfly. Suddenly, like out of nowhere they arrived! The Painted Ladies, the Monarchs. Such beauty! Now I am harvesting the caterpillars to cocoon in our butterfly box and bringing caterpillars to my daughter’s school. When did I become the bug lady? Of course other parents had questions and there I was giving answers about what to plant, when to plant, so on and so forth. I’ve become my mother.
I’m nurturing my home like our lives depend on it. And in some ways, I guess, they do. Our happiness lies within our home. I’m nurturing nature, too. Maybe it’s an innate need to nurture, maybe it’s part of being a woman and mother. Maybe it’s in my genes and I have to just embrace it! Whatever it is, I’m nurturing, what I think it is a pretty great life.
So I’ve become my mother. Is that such a bad thing? In my case, luckily, no. I happen to have an extradrodinarly giving mother. She sees the connections between all of our lives and makes every effort to be positive, loving, and caring. She goes beyond the expected. She helps in meaningful ways. She’s selfless in her giving and yet she is strong, confident, and will be your greatest supporter. She’s not afraid to say ‘no.’
So as I strive to be the best mother I can, and laugh a little when I realize which mother I am becoming I have to think about my own daughter. She, too may way up one day in her thirties and declare what I just have…that she’s become me. My greatest wish would be that she, too feels pretty ok with the person she’s become. What more can you ask for than happy, life-loving children, right?