Thursday, July 21, 2011

She Gets That From Me

It’s time again for the Hearts at Home Third Thursday Blog Hop. The topic for July is “How are you like your mom? How are you different?” I love that they included "how are you different?" in this prompt because it's so easy to get swept up in the "like mother, like daughter" mentality (or "like father, like son," if you prefer) and the idea that our kids should be just like us; that they should want to be like us. We're doing it with Reese already when we talk about who she looks like; who she acts like; and the features, talents, and personality traits we hope she gets from one or both of us. As a parent, there's just something special about those moments of pride that come from seeing yourself in your kid and thinking, "she gets that from me." Of course, I want Reese to be like me in some ways, but not so much that I forget that she also deserves to just be Reese.

When I think about how my mom and I are alike, I do get a lot from her. There are the simple similarities like our preferences for music, movies, books, and food. Then there are deeper similarities like the fact that we are both overly emotional and the tears come all too easily whether we’re feeling proud, happy, sad, or angry. We’re both a little dramatic (hey, at least we admit it), and we tend to assume the worst before we know the full extent of a situation. We’re also very independent, and we both have a hard time asking for help. (And if you read my last post, you're probably not surprised). We both love organizing things and any opportunity to make a list is an exciting moment for us. We have a similar sense of humor and the ability to finish each others' sentences, know each others' thoughts, and predict each others' reactions.   

Ok, so we are a lot alike, but we are different too. We have different opinions on a lot of political, social, and even some religious issues. We have different financial views. My mom is definitely not a control freak (I don’t really know where I get that), and she’s much more relaxed about her schedule than I am. We approach situations differently, solve problems differently, and address conflicts differently. And even though I grew to be different from her in some ways and even though I disagree with her on some major issues, she never said, "don't ever do this" or "don't be like that" or "I raised you to be this way."  I love that about my mom. She validates my opinions, supports my choices, and encourages my dreams, even if they are different from her own. She supported me when I thought I wanted to work, and she supported me when I decided to stay home. That's why I love our differences, and I love that we are open about them. Each time we disagree I am reminded that I am free to be me and that my individuality is respected. 

It’s a beautiful accomplishment for a mother to build that kind of relationship with her daughter. My relationship with my mom has a foundation of love, support, and encouragement; a foundation that makes me want to embrace our similarities but also allows me to exercise my individuality. I’m so glad that my mom encouraged me to find my own unique identity, but I’m also glad that we enjoy so many of the same things and can relate to each other in so many ways. I hope I’m able to find a good balance between raising Reese to be like me and raising her to be like herself. I hope we have enough in common to enjoy the kind of fun-filled friendship that I share with my mom. But I also hope she knows that she doesn’t have to be like me to be loved by me; that she can be a stay-at-home mom or a doctor or a tattoo artist or a circus acrobat. No matter who she grows up to be, I have to remember that if I instill that freedom in her and if I embrace her individuality, then whether we are completely alike, completely different, or some beautiful combination of both, I'll still be able to say, "she gets that from me."

1 comment:

  1. This was a generous's obvious that you and your mom have a great relationship in spite of and because of your differences.