A few months ago I was driving home from school with my little ones, and I stopped in front of a beautifully manicured lawn in our neighborhood, exclaiming “Look guys! Aren’t those flowers pretty?” My kids thankfully humored me and told me which color flower was their favorite and at least pretended to care. As I simultaneously delighted in the floral splendor, and attempted to get my kids to appreciate the lovely site, it hit me…I was turning into my mother!
My mother has many special qualities, but the most prominent is her acute appreciation for the tiny details in life. I don’t know anyone else that delights in a flower, the design of a spider web, or the taste of a papaya quite like she does. Everything is an event to her, even serving fruit for dessert.
I am one of four girls, and growing up in a house filled with this many hormones creates a load of giggling, and inevitably some ganging up on Mom. We had a pretty healthy home (progressive, huh?), and my mom tried to be as convincing as she could when presenting our bowls of fruit, that it was the best dessert in town. One night as we were dreaming of Oreos and the processed junk that all our friends were eating for dessert, my mom presented us with “luscious fruit.” This has since become the longest running joke in our family. My sisters and I never talk about a meal involving fruit where it isn’t “luscious.” I may not use the adjective “luscious” with my own kids, but I have been known to serve them fruit that is “beautiful” for sure!
A dear friend of mine is on the joke too. Whenever she calls and I say I have been on the phone with my mom, she asks, “How’s the weather?” This is because my mom talks about the weather incessantly. She finds so much joy in sunshine and snow alike, that she asks me about the weather in Houston, and then gives a full report on the forecast of the Eastern seaboard every time we talk. If I am being honest, it used to annoy me to no end. I was frustrated that she didn’t ask me more about my day, but knew what temperature the thermometer read. I began to have more patience for this topic of conversation when I realized that I, in fact, have begun talking about the weather too, a lot. OMG, it is genetic!
I think we spend so much time in our younger years fighting the fact that we may turn into our parents. It takes a certain amount of maturity to realize that we have the ability to change behaviors that we don’t emulate, while still embracing our inheritance of the ones we love. I know that I am lucky to have grown up with a mom that imparted a love of beauty and nature on me. She isn’t materialistic in the slightest. We will never be shopping buddies, but she does like to poach beauty products from me now, and it is fun to share. I am fortunate to have a mom who wants to eat outside whenever possible, is willing to walk my dog, and reads books to my kids on the lawn chairs. Fresh air fuels her. Isn’t it amazing that she knows that? So many people try to fill a void in their life with superficial things, and may not even realize it. She has shown me that in order to feel full, we may just need a walk or a good view.
What qualities do you hope to inherit from your Mom?