“You’re turning into your mother.” Those were the words my husband uttered one night as I fretted over whether my daughter was going to make it down the one solitary step from our kitchen to our family room without busting her face open.
You see, I have a tendency to “hover,” as my husband calls it. Am I a helicopter mom? Absolutely.
No matter what, I have a hard time letting up. I’m always standing one step behind my daughter, following her tiny curls, just in case she slips, or trips, or stumbles. Ready and waiting to pick her up and protect her from any potential bumps and bruises, both literal and figurative.
But in that particular moment, as my husband told me I was turning into my mother, I didn’t have the usual gut-wrenching, catch your breath reaction society has taught us to feel upon hearing those words. In fact, I had a completely different epiphany.
I remember when I was little, promising I would NEVER turn into my mother. I wouldn’t utter silly reasons why my children couldn’t go out and do something. I wouldn’t make them finish their homework before they went out to play. I certainly wouldn’t require them to eat all of their vegetables before having any dessert. After all, that is just cruel.
But at some point in my life, somewhere between finishing my veggies and having a baby, I realized something. I knew without a doubt that I had completely transformed into my mother. I had inherited her personality, her anxiety, her never-ending worry for her children. Inbred in me was her natural instinct to protect those around her. I harbored the same deep-seeded desire to spend every single moment of every single day giving my children the very best. And I don’t mean the best in clothes or toys; we were not well off by any means growing up. I mean the best in love, in compassion, in discipline, in understanding.
My mother is so many things. She is the definition of a “mama-bear.” At 5’6” and 105 lbs, she is a surprising force to be reckoned with. She is undeniably selfless. She is indisputably generous. She is ferociously strong-willed and determined, yet, surprising comfortable admitting her fault. She is hasty and reactive, while managing to be thorough and carefully planned. Not to mention, she is freakishly wise, for her not too old of age.
So in that moment, when my husband claimed I was my mother, I wasn’t rattled with fear. I wasn’t filled with a sense of remorse or a hurried desire to undo what took my mother years to build up. I didn’t think of a quick, equally devastating name to throw back in his face. Nor did I shoot him a look of contempt for the unthinkable comparison he had just made.
No, it was quite the opposite. I was relieved. I was quietly satisfied. Hell, I was pleased with myself. I was my mother. What else could I ask for?