I never expected this. It was the ultimate no-no to me as a 13 year old girl, and even as I grew to realize my mother knew considerably more than I previously thought, it remained on my huh-uh never list for my visions of the future. Even after marriage, children, and being close with her for the last 15 or more years, it’s still something I’ve tried to avoid. I firmly believe that as women we can love our mothers tremendously and whole heartedly. We can want to be like them. But somewhere down in our little inner psyche a little voice whispers to us as a constant reminder that we do not want to BECOME them.
It may start innocent enough. A little nose wipe with your sleeve here, a spit bath there, and then way out of left field comes using the kitchen rag to wipe a messy face (something I swore at 8 I would never do even under utmost forms of torture).
And then one day I’m going about my business blogging about one of my most embarrassing moments. Then I discover that my sweet mother has taken the time to leave me a nice lengthy comment, and WHAMMO it hits me. I am more like my mom than I previously thought. In fact, I may very well have become her. It’s left me chuckling all morning.
Mom’s comment brought back a memory I’d almost forgotten about. Smoochie attended pre-k classes at our local elementary school for a period of time. The bus would pick him up and drop him off in front of our house. I loved it because there’s something heart tugging about such a little boy trying to get on and off a big bus.
One afternoon in the middle of winter the bus dropped him off in front of our house. My son was bundled to the utmost. Big fluffy coat, check. Snowpants, check. Hood, hat, and scarf wrapped snugly, check. He resembled a 3ft tall Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
We always use our back door at our house that leads into our kitchen. Smoochie got off the bus and took off running as fast as his little legs would move for the back door, which was inside our fenced in yard.
As I watched everything unfold, my mind and my mouth were on two different pages. They were completely out of sync.
My mind went about a mile a minute. Slow down little boy, the ground is wet and slippery. Hey, our gate is closed you need to slow down. He’s gonna stop and wait for me. Slow down slow down slow down, stoooooooop!
My mouth had a total short circuit. Nothing came out, and I watched the events unfold before me in silence.
His scarf was wrapped too high upon his face, and he could not see our chain link fence quickly approaching through the brutal winter air on the other side of it. He was running blind, much like a fluffy little human bowling ball. He’s never been a very fast runner, but I do completely think he set personal speed records on this afternoon.
Fwaaack! He hit our chain link fence at full speed and bounced off it like he’d taken a running leap at a vertical trampoline. He wound up about 3 feet away on his back and stunned into total silence. His winter gear cushioned the fall, and for a moment the only sound was the tingalingaling of the chain link percussion.
And then there was laughter. I laughed so hard my tonsils froze. I fell to my knees and couldn’t breathe. Through my tears I tried to help him up and make sure he was ok, but it took a few minutes for me to compose myself enough to get us into the house. I unbundled Smoochie and made him a nice hot lunch- while chuckling of course. And then I ran to the phone to call my mom and tell her what happened through more laughter and tears- because I knew of all people she would appreciate my story the most.
I guess if becoming my mother brings years worth of tears from laughter, there could be worse fates in life. Unless you ask a 13 year old girl.