October 1, 2009
My mother has been visiting for ten days with four more to go. It’s wonderful having her here and it’s a blessing for my son to get to spend time with her. Even though fourteen days is a long time it has not been a big deal because I really love her and we have a wonderful relationship. She visits at least once a year and I get home to Canada as often as possible.
I clearly remember the first time I thought to myself that I had become my mother. My son wanted me to make him macaroni and cheese for breakfast. He was about three years old and when I told him I was not going to make mac and cheese he asked me about 100 times why so I turned to him and said the words I had been dreading, “because I’m your mother and I said so”.
When I said it I had a classic Sally Field Steel Magnolias moment of laughing and crying at the same time. I laughed because I knew the moment was going to come eventually and I had a funny sense of relief and I cried because I felt guilty that I felt bad that I had become her when I love her so much. It’s a really strange moment when you realize that more than being your mother’s child you are the mother to your own child.
This visit has had a different vibe than ones from the past. When she used to come it felt like I was the child and she was the mother and my home became her home and I was a guest in my own home because she was the matriarch. This time around I feel like it’s my home and she is the visitor. I have my own way of running my home. Even the simplest of things like the way I clean my kitchen or fold my laundry takes on a power of its own because it’s my way. I find that I do a lot of things exactly like her and at the same time there is a clear distinction between the two generations.
At a certain point your mother becomes your friend. I always say that my son and I are friends but in truth it’s only as an adult that you can relate to your parents and be their friends. The interesting part is that at this stage of our lives we are both mothers and both single.
My mother is fascinated by my dating life. She has not dated since my father passed away and I think she’d like to but the fact is that he was the only man she had ever been with and it would freak her out to date. It’s charming and sad at the same time. It’s weird to think that my mother is now in the same dating pool and we could date the same men. I could date older and she could be a cougar. We could date brothers. Oy vey!
I love my mother. I look at her now not so much as my mom but more as my son’s grandmother. As good as she is as a mom, she is even better as “Nona” to my son, nieces and nephews. I will be sad when she goes home. It’s been a true pleasure to have her with me but I’ll keep myself busy by refolding all my towels once she’s on the plane.
I look forward to hearing from my son about the moment he channels me with his kids. It will happen eventually and I hope he will tell me about it. It’s a rite of passage to cross over into the land of “I’ve become my mother”. I embrace it and love it and love her. I hope that when it happens for my boy the feelings are the same and I’m not just the crazy lady who he is forced to visit out of guilt not desire.
My mother tells me that I am doing a great job and am a wonderful mother. Coming from her its tremendous praise because I think she is the best. When her children were little she prayed that we would all grow up to be healthy and happy and I wish that for my child now. It will take prayer, luck, hope, tears, laughter, discipline, struggle and a deliberate choice to keep the faith.