Monday, November 30, 2009

Becoming Our Mothers

Several of you remarked on the post regarding Diana's solution to her filthy roommate that it seemed clear she had taken after me with regard to her communication style. Yesterday my mother came up to visit me for the afternoon. As she was leaving home she texted me to say she was bringing a friend. The message amused me because it reminded me so much of her mother, my nana.

When my kids were small Nana would often show up at my house unannounced and with a carload of her friends. some folks would find this kind of intruding but I always welcomed it. Mind you, it was no trip around the corner for my grandmother. We lived a good hour and half apart. Invariably, she arrive on a day when the kids were fussy and impossible to settle and I was feeling frazzled. Again, lots of folks might think, "Oh great, now there are guests to entertain." On the contrary. Nana would breeze into the house with her friends, play on the floor with my kids, and chit chat with her friends and me before they all piled back in her car to continue their journey. When they left the air seemed clearer, this kids were calmer, and I felt like I'd had a break while I enjoyed some adult conversation. It was the perfect clarifying interruption.

I was almost never able to convince Nana to stick around long enough to have a little lunch or dinner. The visits were always fairly brief. I enjoyed seeing her friends as much as I enjoyed seeing her because they all had as much personality as Nana did, which meant they were all a bunch of firecrackers. In fact, when Nana died I not only mourned her but I mourned having her carloads of friends descend on my house unexpectedly.

Fast forward (or reverse or side wind, whatever) back to yesterday. Mom's message made me laugh because I thought it was a sign she was becoming her mother that she'd be bringing a friend. I told her so when she arrived. When I invited them for dinner and they both declined saying they had to be on their way I said it was definite, the transformation was nearly complete. She laughed, not unlike my grandmother used to, which of course, amused me even more.

Then the realization struck, if Mom had become Nana, and Diana was becoming me...that must mean I am becoming my mother! I was afraid it meant I might have to start wearing purple since that's her favorite color and my least favorite. I am assured it just means I need to be able to sew and it just means my fashion sense needs to be somewhat bothersome to others....I think my fascination with tie dye covers that.

All in all, there are far worse fates than becoming my mother. I can smile at that change since I think my mom is pretty admirable in a lot of ways. It's when I channel my dad that I really worry!


Desmond Jones said...

That "I'm-becoming-my-parent" thing is kinda amusing. Like you, I can see myself, in some amusing ways, morphing into my dad. Which is as amusing for me as I imagine it is for you, since it sure ain't anything genetic. . . ;)

But you know, there's both Nature and Nurture that go into making us who we are, and Nurture is wonderful to behold in its own right, eh?

Jazz said...

I see that in myself sometimes, and it always catches me off guard. I don't mind it though, I quite like my mom.

Hilary said...

And look who she raised.. seems she did alright, and you're alike in that way too.

Cocotte said...

When I sprained my ankle last spring, I remember crying to my daughter, not from pain, but that I was turning into my mother (who has osteoporosis and once broke her leg in 12 places).

But turning into her, personality-wise, is much, much scarier.

secret agent woman said...

My mother has become a lot like her mother (who we called Gangeen). Once she said to me, "If I start turning into Gangeen, shoot me." I said, "What do you mean, start turning into Gangeen?

S said...

"It's when I channel my dad that I really worry!"

The last time I saw my cousin who I hadnt seen for 20 years previous, she said, "You look exactly like your mom, you even have the same wrinkles!"


Ananda girl said...


I think we do all become our parents in some fashion. You're lucky... your family's women are worth becoming!

The Zombieslayer said...

A friend of mine who I had known since '88 says that I am becoming more like my father every year.

It's inevitable.

g-man said...

Your Mom is Hot too?

~Dragonfly~* said...

You do make me smile Lime... but it wasn't the tie dye that came to mind... it was the purple plaid shorts you wore for Halloween!!! :) They did have purple in them, did they not?

I'd like to become my mother... she is financial secure and able to hand out "travel money" to all my kids when they come home to visit... wish I could do the same!

~Tim said...

Plus, we are the people our parents warned us about.

Moosekahl said...

That story brought to mind a picture of a prim and proper nanny descending on the wind with her umbrella. no one was quite sure what hit them after she left but there was that freshness and brightness left in her trail!

Jeni said...

The first time I noticed anything in my like my Mom was about 36 years ago when I heard myself telling my older daughter not to run around the house in her stocking feet as I had enough problems trying to get those white socks clean!
Today, my younger daughter, her husband and family and I all live together so when it comes to disciplining her two little ones, I'm as active a participant as is my daughter and frequently, we both say the exact same things to the kids at the same time! Then we look at each other, shake our heads and mutter about how scary it is that our thought processes and speech too are running along the same lines!

TorAa said...

I think "Nanny" is very familiar to me.
We call it "A French Visit": Short but hectic. Right?
I mean, when popping up more or less uninvited.
But, when invited, even "The Last Train" would not be suiteable. LOL.
Just "pictures" from my childhood.

Jocelyn said...

This is why I'm glad I have a sister: SHE'S the one who gets to become our mother.