My mom lives 2,500 miles away from me. I won’t be there on this Mother’s Day to take her to Outback Steakhouse, her favorite restaurant. I won’t be there to see her smile when she reads the card I mailed her this week.
But I am my mother’s daughter, despite the distance. I am my mother’s daughter despite the differences in our opinions about politics, religion, and how often showers should be scrubbed and carpets, vacuumed. (For my mother, cleanliness should be taken as seriously as politics and religion, a sentiment I lamented for the 18 years I lived under her roof).
My mom’s not perfect. We disagree and argue. Our arguments are loud and lively but never last more than a couple of minutes before we’re back talking about the weather or lasagna. It’s just our Italian way.
I think most girls have a fear that they will become just like their mothers. (Unless their mothers are one of those angelic Norman Rockwell-types with a June Cleaver smile and a pretty apron, then maybe it would be okay to be like Mom.) But I’ve realized as I’ve grown up that although I don’t wish to be like my mother, I already am in many ways.
Here are a few examples:
1. I will never pay full price for clothes or shoes. I swear by the sale-rack. If Gap wants $78 for a cardigan, it won’t come from my pocketbook.
2. … I say “pocketbook.”
3. When a Rod Stewart, Bee-Gees, or Lionel Richie song comes on the radio in the car, I sing along to every word. These were the artists my mother listened to when I was a kid. I wouldn’t dare change the station to something more appropriate for a 26 year old like Rhianna or Bruno Mars. (Appropriate by top 100 standards, certainly not mine).
4. Clean counter tops are essential to my peace of mind. Fresh, folded bath towels are not a question but an answer. I become Cruella De Vil when my husband leaves his clothes on the bedroom floor.
5. I go through tweezers faster than shampoo.
6. My nose will always hog 50% of any headshot taken of me. It just comes with my genes inherited from my darling mother dearest.
7. I can by cynical and snarky and as stubborn as a nail in the wall. I have a hot temper that’s quick and compulsive but never lasts more than five minutes.
8. All conflicts are resolved best over a plate of pasta with a bottle of Merlot and a little laughter.
9. Frugality and adaptability are essential to managing time and money wisely. Generic brands usually taste the same as the real thing and if the hot water heater breaks, you can still wash your dishes.
10. A “spoiled” person’s lifestyle should never be envied. Hard labor, perseverance, and triumph over tragedy will define your character more than wealth, status, or leisure.
11. I will always seek to find the good in other people and value simplicity and thrifty living over extravagance.
12. I will find a reason to keep going even when all feels lost and I’ve got nothing left to give.
13. I won’t give up hope in my dreams and will never underestimate the power of having a good group of girlfriends to cheer me on in my pursuit of those dreams.
14. It is okay to feel like the underdog.
15. It is okay to feel like a mess.
Because I am my mother’s daughter.
It is because of her that I learned and value these things. So maybe in some ways I have become like her…but you know what? I’m okay with that.