So like most angst ridden teenagers I was 100% adamant that I was nothing like my mom growing up.
Like 1000% sure.
I loved tattoos, piercings, weird hair colour and clothes. I mean, I was super edgy and unique (insert eye roll).
As I got older I was even more convinced of my separateness, especially when I birthed little humans, I thought I’m so progressive, I’m going to forge my own motherhood path with little to no need for my mom’s advice & her not so subtle probing that I was doing it all wrong.
I most likely was.
We butt heads, we argued, we went without speaking for small snippets of time, born from pure stubbornness on both our parts which should have been an inkling of the similarities.
But see, when she passed last November it wasn’t until now that I realize how fecking similar we actually were.
Let that one digest for a titch.
All you daughters out there who think you couldn’t possibly be like your mom. You are so very very wrong.
I volunteered to write my mom’s eulogy for her Celebration of Life which was equal parts an honour, and terrifying as shit.
Would I have a complete melt down and ugly cry in front of all those people? Would anyone get the jokes? Should I even tell jokes? Can I swear in church? Would I be able to sum up her life and do her justice in just a few short minutes?
A fair bit of pressure, yes, but I wanted to do it for her. It was something I could do that she would have done for me.
The perfectionist in me also wanted to hit it out of the park. I mean, if you can’t nail a eulogy, what good are you?
When I looked back on her life, I began to see the patterns we shared. Now, my mom loved God and hated when I swore and her personalty was definitely unique and diverse to mine, that’s not quite what I mean by patterns. Our likeness was more in our actions.
Firstly, when I would look at old photos I noticed she had attended a crazy amount of costume events in her life, and well, um, hello, yes. She loved a stiff drink and full blown dance parties well into the night…again…me!
Secondly, she loved getting dolled up, creating a full matching ensemble from the shoes to the bag to the jewelry, a cosmetician for many years, she repped some great brands and had more makeup then me – it’s true people!
I spend an exorbitant amount of time doing my hair, and nails are done once a week. The hair stylist in me would never to leave for a trip without a curling iron, blasphemy, and you can catch me every Sunday in the summer mulling over the right shade of red lipstick to wear to baseball. I had essentially turned into my mom and didn’t even realize it.
In fact the one thing I asked for from her belongings was her 1970’s Manhattan makeup case that sits in my living room on display and comes with me for every overnight trip. It’s heavy, satin lined and fits all my stuff perfectly.
It’s my prized possession.
Thirdly, I found similarities on the crafty front. Mom’s creativity was something I took for granted and honestly I didn’t think too much about growing up. She would sew, and tole paint, knit and do needlepoint but I didn’t give it a passing glance if I’m being honest.
I thought I was ‘so cool’ with my graphic design and computer skills (insert second very large eye roll), but nope, we were the same, it’s just the medium that changed. In another life I would be crocheting plant hangers and whipping up barbie outfits just like her.
Since she passed I’ve actually taken up the old timey cross stitch which I never thought I would, but I actually love. It makes me feel close to her when I sit down and spell out ‘Fuck’ surrounded by pretty flowers. She would HATE that my patterns are silly and contain multiple swear words, but it’s that teenager in me that smiles when I work on them, knowing she is shaking her head very ‘mom like’ at me wherever she is.
I feel such sadness that I never got to tell her how proud of her I was, or how proud I am that I turned out so much like her. Maybe she saw it. Maybe she figured it out well before me and knew I would never really ‘get it’ until later on. I like to think she did.
It’s super trippy to take a minute and extricate yourself as the daughter to your mother. To think of our moms as a person independent from us, how crazy similar we actually are. It is a comforting idea that my own daughter will carry a little bit of me in her through her life, and you know, not end up in jail one day.