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Oh Dear...I Have Become My Mother!

    “There just are not enough hours in the day…. I don’t know where the day goes”.
……Oh – My – Lord! Did those words come out of my mouth! My mother says this all the time, when did this happen, when did I start becoming her! Was it a sudden precipitous fall, or a gradual slide into “Mom-ism”?  
I cast my mind back to when sons were in their twenties…. “Mom, quit worrying I’m a grown up now..”  Did I.. ?  Well no of course not, I mean I’m a mother, it comes with the territory, but I was a hip, modern Mom wasn’t I?  “Mom, quit nagging!” - oh well, maybe not.
But, I digress, I want to know when this transformation occurred, I mean, I always swore I would never get like that. Since this was most disconcerting, I thought about it long and hard.

I think it was the cups. A few years ago, a friend gave me a collection of her mother’s cups – beautiful bone china from England – where both of us hale from originally. I had to put these heirlooms somewhere, and plumped for the large custom made bookcase that had to go in my dining room as it was the only place it would fit. So no longer was it relegated to books, it became a resting place for…… My Treasures. No they are not knick-knacks. Well, maybe they are, but I abhor knick-knacks. My mother has them all over her “front room”; it must take her a week to dust them all. Cleaning is probably like the Golden Gate Bridge, once you get done going round, you start at the beginning again. But the stuff on my bookcase is different, everything I have there has a story attached. – Hmm, I  wonder if that’s how Mom started her collection? 

So, somehow there was a subtle transformation into my mother, the woman whose ways have driven me crazy for donkey’s years. Quite obviously this is a subtle form of punishment. I cast my mind back to my teenage years.  Oh the joys of going to town with my mother. I can remember rolling my eyes every time we went down the high street and had to stop and talk to everyone; people in the street, shop keepers, you name it, was greeted. Since Mom doesn’t always remember their names, it’s often “hello love” or “good morning dear” followed by a good natter about the state of their health and the local village gossip. Now that I live in a small community, I have  found myself doing the self same thing, a word here, a chat there… why, I actually caught myself saying “thank you dear” to  a sales clerk the other day.  

A friend and I talked recently on this subject. She recognized the exact moment when she became her mother. She spent her young adulthood mortified by her mother’s habit of “liberating” cuttings and seeds from public and private gardens. Not so very long ago she found herself touring a well known open to the public garden and says she felt a pull from beyond her normal reasonable, sensible self and before she knew it, she had slipped a couple of seed pods into her pocket! “She got me”, she explained. Another friend, well into her sixties now, spoke of her out of body experience as she watched herself, seemingly from above, smile sweetly at a waiter and tell him he reminded her of her grandson. “Something my mother always did and it never failed to embarrass me and now I’m doing it…couldn’t stop myself.” 

As I mused about this state of affairs, I started to cook dinner. I reached into the fridge door and took out a stick of butter, removed the wrapper and carefully folded it and placed it in the shelf in the door. Oh-oh! Another “mom-ism”.  Butter wrappers are used to grease pie dishes etc. My mother had never heard of recycling, since the word hadn’t been invented yet, but “reduce and reuse” was a part of post war Britain; just one of the little things one did. I don’t bake that much, but find that I just cannot throw those darn things away! 

There are so many little things I could tell you about, but unfortunately I don’t have time, you know there are just not enough hours in the day…..


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