I Am My Mother

 

This is my mother.

 

While I love my mother dearly, when I was younger, I absolutely hated going to the store with her. It wasn’t for the typical kid reasons of her not letting me get cookies, or making me pick out generic brand cereal. (She was actually a saint in that department. We would get Double Stuf Oreos for me and originals for my step dad.) No, it was the fact that a typical grocery store visit could take anywhere from 15 minutes to hours. Even if we just needed milk and some rolls with dinner, which should only take five minutes if you really drug your feet, we risked running into people.

 

To say my mother is a social butterfly is an understatement. Everywhere we went, she was bumping into someone she knew. The conversations would go on, for what seemed like forever. But that’s my mother. She’s always had a talent for making people feel welcome and comfortable to share about their life. People she hasn’t seen in years, would want to open up to her. Some would laugh, some would cry, but all were always thrilled to see her.

 

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed myself saying those four words we all fear growing up. “I am my mother.” There are times that I will do or say something, or stand a certain way, and the realization hits me like a ton of bricks. My God. I am my mother. But as I get older, I realize that there are worse things to be. (Obviously)

 

Just last week, I was waiting for my chai tea at an Einstein’s, when I noticed the lady in front me. It was a Wednesday morning, but for her, it was very apparently a Monday. She dropped her keys trying to grab her bagel, and as she started to walk off, she exhaled, “oh shit. I bought a coffee, too.” She trudged back over to wait in line for her coffee. Without missing a beat, I told her the whole week felt like a Monday. I was expecting a slight shrug, maybe a chuckle if I was lucky. But this lady agreed, then began to tell me about how her sister recently moved to the area, and she was under a lot of stress. Before I knew it, we had spent twenty minutes talking about our hometowns, goals, and future plans. As we waved ‘bye’ from the parking lot, I smiled to myself as again I thought, “I am my mother.”

 

As I move forward in life, not knowing where I’ll go, what I’ll do, or who I’ll meet. The one thing I know, is I want to be my mother.  Even though this life has been nothing but cruel to her, she wakes up each day and finds a reason to smile. Even when people are rude, she attacks with the “kill them with kindness” mentality. Every single day, she makes the lives of those around her better, simply because she’s in it. So even if I don’t know where I’ll be in a month, a year, or  a decade, I know that, like my mother, I want to enrich the lives of those around me. Whether they are a friend or foe, I hope I leave each conversation thinking, “I am my mother.”

 

 

Cover

All photos from author.