Friday, October 12, 2012

Turning Into Your Mother

You know how people say "I am turning into my mother!"when they notice they have done something a little bit bonkers?  Well, I think more accurately people should say "I have turned into a mother!", because really, most of these little things we thought were so annoying as children are not just some idiosyncrasy of our own mother, but things that just happen when faced with the realities of motherhood. 

I can think of two classic examples of things from my childhood that drove my dad and siblings and I absolutely crazy. 

One was that nearly every night my mom would make dinner, tell us it was time to eat, keep pestering us that dinner was on the table NOW, settle us all down for a prayer, and then as soon as everyone said "amen" she would excuse herself to go to the bathroom.  We all thought this was so ridiculous.  Why rush us all to the dinner table when you yourself aren't even ready to sit and down and eat it? 

Now that I am making dinner for my own family every night I understand this phenomenon completely.   I am rushing around to make dinner at the time of day when everyone is at their crankiest, with a baby crying and holding onto my legs and kids asking me how to spell things and other kids crying because someone just socked them in the face and other kids yelling out, "It was an ACCIDENT and  I said SORRY".  Somehow the meal all comes together and you manage to get your family gathered around it.  As you sit down to join them you realize "Hey, I have to use the bathroom".  And you genuinely did not have time to think of this before the instant you sat down and finally had a moment to pay attention to your personal needs.  So Mom, I apologize for all of the eye rolling and snide comments when you excused yourself to use the bathroom nearly every night.

The other example is the classic "Mom is always the last one in the car".  Sundays are the prime example.  Everyone is dressed, everyone has his or her hair combed, shoes on, scriptures found, and is in the car.  Except for Mom.  Every few second someone yells out the car window into the open door to the house "Mom, are you coming?!" And the reply "Yes...coming!" wafts back to you.  Sometimes we would even see her in the doorway and it looked like she was heading for us, but then a quick turn back into the house and we'd lose her again.   It was so exasperating.  After all, Mom was up before the rest of us.  She was showered before any one else.   Surely she has had the most time to get herself ready to go! 

Now I know all too well what happens when it's time to load up the car.  Invariably I am the last one climbing into our car on Sundays, fastening on an earring or putting fingernail polish on a run in my nylons as I get settled.  Sometimes I feel I have to explain myself so I'll start on the list "I just had to make sure I took the cake out of the oven, and that the crockpot had been turned down to low, and I had to grab the things from the printer for Sharing Time, and Lily needs a safety pin for her dress where that button popped off five minutes ago, and the snack for the baby didn't get put into the bag so I had to grab that, and I have a little something for the people I visit teach that I had to put in a bag, and of course I had to go to the bathroom".   It's funny - no matter how prepared I think I am to leave the house, suddenly, at the moment of truth, I will think of at least five things I need "grab" or "run and check on" before I can actually leave.

So Mom, I'm sorry for giving you a hard time about this one too.  I now realize that these things just sometimes come with the job.  I really appreciate the work you put into being my mom, and I hope someday my own children will come to the same realization (and in so many things if I could honestly say "I am turning into my mother!" it would be a huge compliment).