More and more often I find myself stop in my tracks, put my hand over my mouth and say “dear lord, I sound like my mother.”
My mother is infamous for her positive attitude, organization and enthusiasm for life. She almost always sees the glass as half full and views every obstacle as an opportunity, all traits I truly admire now and, while lovely in theory, will without a doubt drive an angsty teenager crazy.
Mom doing as the Dutch do in Amsterdam 🙂
My mother has little patience for laziness and negativity and has more energy than women half her age.
But most of all my mother is famous for her lists. The dreaded list. I remember waking up on Saturday mornings rolling out of bed only to open my door to find a typed “to do list” in my path that looked a little something like this:
Good morning Princess,
1. Clean your room (do not just throw all the clothes on the floor in your closet or under the bed, please fold clean clothes and put dirty clothes in the laundry room)
2. Write thank you notes to your Aunts & Uncles and put them in the mailbox TODAY.
3. Write down at least 2 dates this month that you can go to the dentist and leave it on a yellow post-it above my desk, it’s time to get your teeth cleaned!
4. Do at least 1 hour of SAT prep before you go anywhere this evening.
Call me if you need me. I’m going to swing by my office, go to the health club and then get a manicure. I’ll be home this afternoon.
While I haven’t quite adopted the bright and cheery disposition and eternal optimism of my mother, I have, and it hurts to admit it, adopted the list. I make lists for everything and have even been known to leave lists lying around for Sebastiaan now and then (he responds without about as much… um “gratitude” as I did as a teenager).
In Amsterdam over Christmas 🙂
I’m actually starting to grow really fond of the list.
As I grow older and grow to appreciation all the hard work and love my mother invested in me over the years, not only do I feel indebted to my mother for putting up with years of eye rolling, daily and exasperated “Ugh, I know Mom” ‘s and inexplicable mood swings, but I also feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for having such an amazing example of love, compassion, responsibility and motherhood. Although I’ve doubted much over the years, my mother’s love for me and our family was never one of them.
Now, as an adult, the bond between my mother and me is unbreakable. Our relationship has (after surviving my less than pleasant teenage years) become more than just that between mother and daughter, but a friendship of the purest form. I trust and confide in my mother more than anyone in the world and we have come to lean on each other in hard times, celebrate each others’ successes and encourage one another to make the most out of life.
So, it’s true, I’m becoming my mother more and more each day and as much as it scares me, it’s one of the most reassuring signs for the future. The truth is, there isn’t anyone in the world I’d rather become.
My beautiful mother in Miami in 1975.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I love you.