My mom with her newest grandchild: Molly
I have to admit that it was not long ago I thought my mother and I were totally different. I was probably just hoping that we weren't alike. It's easy to focus on the negative qualities of a person. I think that in some way, it is a pathetic, subconscious way of boosting our own self esteem when we find qualities in another that are less than desirable which we don't posses ourselves (at least not yet).
My mother looses her temper and yells much more than is acceptable. She can be rude in public when it's not necessary. She avoids eye contact with certain people (my husband) almost always, showing passive aggressive disrespect. She either has a horrible memory, or lies about things that are not all that important (like what she bought at the drive through or what time she said the party was supposed to start.)
All that being said, she is and has been an incredible mother. She gave birth to four of her own children, adopted one little boy with brain damage when I was ten, then adopted two other little boys when I was in college. She encouraged me to develop my talents from the time I was little, putting me in dance classes, talent shows for singing, and musicals in school as I grew up. Every day after school, she'd be home having done all our laundry, cleaned up, and waiting for us with a special snack on the table (my favorite was pudding with whipped cream). When I was sick, she would sit at the end of my bed and rub my feet, bring in poached eggs and sprite and tell me how sorry she was that I wasn't feeling well.
She always made me feel as if I could do anything and be great at it. Although I was not the smartest or most intelligent in my class, I always felt as if I was because that's how she spoke of me in front of others. She filled out all the paperwork that ended up getting me a full ride music scholarship to California Baptist College. In college, she'd bring me baskets of treats even though all my food was taken care of.
When I started having children of my own, she treated them just like they were her own; showered them with complements and gifts at every holiday. She's been at every one of my children's births, helping in whatever way she thought necessary. When I called her bawling on the phone that I was pregnant with my seventh child (and wasn't thrilled obviously), she consoled me and told me that it was going to be wonderful in the end to have another beautiful, talented child.
Her home is always "open"....I don't even have to knock when I come over. She would be thrilled if I just showed up. She rejoices in my (and my children's) accomplishments with me. She shaped me into who I am today. I wouldn't have my singing voice without she and my dad. I wouldn't have a strong will like I do without having learned it from my mom. She has never given up, though has had plenty of reasons to do so. Her marriage has lasted despite legitimate reasons to end it. She has attended church since we were kids and never gave us the option of not going. We learned to love Jesus and his teachings. We learned to forgive and move on. We learned how important family is. We learned to live without. We learned to be frugal. We learned how to be a mom. I may not be the best one myself, but I have never done anything else that felt more natural and perfect. I'm sure that's because of her. She has gotten her joy from her children, just as I am getting my joy from mine. So, am I just like my mother? I hope so.