Friday, July 16, 2010

On becoming my mother

During vacation last week, after spending every waking (and unconscious) minute together, Husband brought some jarring news to my attention: I am becoming my mother.

This news would have terrified teenage KittyMarie. She would have recoiled in horror, stiffened her spine, and denied, denied, denied.

However, adult KittyMarie can only look at the situation and begrudgingly agree. I am starting to display some of her wacky tendencies. Heaven help me.

The things my mother did while I was growing up never failed to humiliate my delicate little idealistic sensibilities. Like many children and teenagers I suspect, I just wanted my life to appear normal, to blend in with the rest of the crowd, noticed only for my achievements and not for my kook of a mother. Appearing "different" or "weird" led only to certain social castigation.

So when she did unthinkable things like offer an obviously homeless woman a $20 bill while standing in line at McDonald's, young KittyMarie could only furrow her brow and furtively glance around to make sure no one thought I was actually with this complete nut who reached out to strangers and made other people's problems her own.

Of course, older KittyMarie sees things a bit differently now. And she realizes something else. For all of my mother's apparent insanity, I have never met a kinder, more generous person in my life. We have had our share of tussles (and will surely have many more) and disagree on many things in life, but I know that everything my mother does, whether it seems kooky or not, comes from the bottom of her heart.

Maybe I shouldn't worry so much about becoming my mother after all.

Just so long as I don't start wearing matching pantsuits.


Katie said...

Ahh, I'm not sure how it happens. I am becoming my mother as well. Our saving grace is that mothers can be such lovely people.

Belisarius said...

Your mother is definitely a very compassionate and caring person. It's not always a bad thing for offspring to share some personality traits with their parents :)