Becoming your Mother

There were things my mother did when I was growing up that I swore I’d never do. For one, I never wanted to brush a daughter’s hair out of her eyes. I don’t think I ever did that, though Lise or Kate might contradict me. There are other things that didn’t matter, and I found I wiggle my fingers to turn a ring around just like my mom. I presume her rings were a little too large, as are mine half the year. In the summer, mine fit. You find yourself saying things she said such as, “We’ll see.” I’m guilty there, and Lise hated it. Do fellows do that? Do you avoid doing something your dad did or said and find yourself following in his footsteps?

I laughed at myself when I realized I was turning into John’s dad! I was reading the AARP Bulletin, which has slippery pages with a pinked edge. It is almost impossible to turn those pages that tend to stick together and hang up on the ragged edge.   Though written for retirees, it is NOT old-age friendly. Dad is the only person I ever saw who blew on papers to separate them. At my young age, having had no problem turning pages, I told myself I’d never do that. Guess what. It is quite effective! When you can’t get a grip on two pages, blow on them at right angles, and they will magically separate. I’m ready to thank you for that, Dad (now in heaven), but I hope no one ever sees me do it.

8405 Dad's 70.jpg

This photo from 1984 shows my father-in-law, Mom, and ALL their children, spouses, and grandchildren.  We were celebrating his 70th birthday.  I’m hiding behind the pink dress, probably standing on something to appear taller.

27 thoughts on “Becoming your Mother

  1. I get so crazy sometimes! I’ll say something and then turn around because it couldn’t possibly come from me. My mother (long gone) had to be standing behind me! I wish she was here for just enough time for me to tell her how smart she was. I didn’t do that enough.

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  2. Pete teases me about being just like Birger. He liked order, and even the boxes in their basement had neat labels on them listing the contents. I was envious of his system and have tried to duplicate it with somewhat less success. I think it was Mark Twain who said, “The older you get, the smarter your parents get.” It’s true!

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    1. I have my dad’s impatience and am not proud of it. That’s something that you see your mother in yourself. I don’t think I look a bit like mine. However I have one photograph taken at the house where I grew up, and I cannot decide whether it was my mom or me. It was taken years ago. The smock looks like something she would wear, but I might have borrowed it. I would have flown to visit and not brought a lot of clothes with me. It will remain a mystery.

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  3. I love your family photograph Anne. I do the same thing with my left hand to move my ring around, even though it is a solid band…I seem to do this the most while I’m driving for some reason.

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  4. Very lovely, evocative post, Anne! And the picture is so precious! 33 years ago, can u believe it?!
    I find myself imitating my mother’s optimistic outlook, so I’m glad about that. On the other hand, I still am rather impatient – thanks Dad! 😀

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