(My mom, my son, and me)
Recently, after my 37th birthday, it occurred to me that I am becoming more and more like my mom. This isn’t a bad thing. My mom is sweet and generous, has an infectious laugh, is nurturing, and has been happily married for thirty-eight years to my dad. There’s a lot I could learn from her. And every year, as I’m getting a little older, I’m hopefully becoming a little more mature, a little wiser, and little more like my mom. Here are six telltale signs I’m becoming like my mom:
- While driving my car, I find myself singing along to songs I know my mom must be singing along to in her car. Songs like “Angel Baby,” “California Girls,” and “Lollipop.” Somehow, I have learned all the lyrics to these songs, and find myself enjoying the offers on the Oldies station more than the songs played on the more contemporary stations.
- I prepare dinner in the morning. Being a working mother, it is always easier to come home from work with dinner almost ready-to-go. Certain dinners, are pop-them-in-the-oven variety; things like chicken nuggets or pizza. For other meals, I find it advantageous to wake up a few minutes earlier and prepare my spaghetti in the wee morning hours. And even though my mom isn’t working anymore and doesn’t have little children underfoot, she still prepares her dinner during her breakfast.
- My son began preschool this year, and each day in his lunchbox he finds a little love note. Growing up, my mom always put notes in my lunch box. And it didn’t stop when I became a grown-up. When my mom would supply me with left-overs to use during my lunch hour as a teacher, I would find, nestled within the container of left-over spaghetti or teriyaki chicken a love note.
- My own birthday has now taken a back seat to everyone else’s birthday. My mom always said she didn’t want a fuss for her birthday; it was more important to celebrate our birthdays. I never understood that. Who doesn’t want cake with candles blazing, piles of presents, a little more affection and attention? Turns out, I don’t. Each year, my birthday seems to fall a little lower on the priority scale while I make plans to acknowledge my husband and son’s birthday.
- I get a thrill, a buzz, a bit of a high from a good deal. Both my mother and I use coupons to shop due to financial necessity. But sometimes, there’s an unexpected bargain that comes my way and gives me a little jolt of adrenaline, just like my mom. For instance, my husband and I planned to order coffees at our bookstore’s cafe. Prior to ordering, I found a forgotten coupon in my purse for a buy-one-get-one special. Two drinks, one price, makes for an unexpected surprise.
- I don’t own a little black dress. On the rare occasions my parents went out without children (usually for a work-related event) my mom always stressed about what to wear. She didn’t own many fancy-occasion clothes, and I was sure I would be different. Turns out, I’m not. I don’t have a fall-back dress, and when the periodic wedding invitation arrives, it’s the same digging-through-the-closet approach I take, trying to piece together a suitable outfit without having to spend money and buy something that won’t be worn as often as a black t-shirt.
It’s a wait-and-see type of situation to determine if I will become even more like my mom as I age. Will I, too, someday have already completed all my day’s errands by 10:00 in the morning? Will I be pre-occupied, worrying about my family and unable to sleep night-after-night? Will I also own my car for twenty-two years as my mom did hers? We’ll see.