When I was younger, my mother would dole out advice as easily as the wind blows through an open window. And, of course, like any other good daughter, I’d roll my eyes, and say, “Sure, whatever, Mom.” And then absolutely ignore her! I didn’t want to hear it, because she didn’t know what she was talking about! In one ear and out the other. It didn’t even have time to make a mark on my brain. Didn’t even register… Or so I thought!
I sometimes think that we all have an old Bata computer locked away somewhere in the back of our brains. It picks up all that useless advice and information that we think we leave behind and forget about. Then, it spits it out just when we need it. I know, because this happens to me all the time! Sometimes without me even realizing it until much later.
My mother’s words fly out of my mouth so fast, sometimes I wonder if I could have possibly swallowed her and now she is yelling to people for help from the pit of my stomach, all the while giving out much needed advice to help better everyone’s life! Now, this may sound like I am complaining. Let me assure you that I am not! My mother is and always has been an amazingly intelligent woman! She knows things that you can only find on Google! She’s like my own personal Google, MapQuest, and Nature Guide all rolled into one. So, if anyone is more intelligent, it’s her, not me! I try to be just like her, all the while hating myself for turning into my mother… Believe me, it’s a very strange place to be in! But this amazing woman is one of my very best and closest friends. So, having her words fly out of my mouth is an honor. But, it’s funny how many times we, as teenagers, and maybe even still today, think that we know better than our mothers and then get upset when our children threat us the same way. I try to remind myself every now and then how intelligent my mother is, and I try, when I feel like I am not listening again and maybe thinking that I am smarter or that I know better, to take a deep breath and listen, just listen. I try to remember that no matter who is right, she or I, that she gives me the advice with love and for the purpose of helping me out, and that she usually knows something that I don’t… well, Google almost ALWAYS knows something we don’t, right?!
I look at my daughter and wonder if she will ever feel the same about me. I hope that she does. I realize that some day, all too soon, she will be a teenager and she will be the one thinking that I know nothing. That I am the one who is clueless. I relish the fact that right now, I am the smartest woman she knows (her words, not mine). I wish that she would feel that way forever, but we all know that nothing stays the same, especially when hormones get involved! But I know that we will make it through, just as my mother and I did.
When I was a teenager, we rarely got into fights. She would usually step back and let me have my fit. Then, once I saw how silly I was being, she would help me to see the truth, to see where I was wrong… And then, she would tell me my punishment for misbehaving! lol Her favorite story to tell all my friends is of the day that we (mostly me) got into a screaming match and she asked me to go to my room to cool off. I did, but slammed my bedroom door as hard as I could! My punishment for that? She confiscated my door until I could learn how to shut it properly! That made changing my clothes hard! 😉 But once I earned it back, I didn’t slam it again. Well, once, but I promptly opened it again and apologized. Lesson learned!
While in basic training for the Army, many of the girls were having a hard time. Their parents or boyfriends weren’t writing to them or weren’t writing often enough. They were struggling with the Army’s difficult routines and lifestyle. Somewhere from my Bata computer came the words they needed to comfort them. They were amazed and impressed. They said I was so smart, and asked how I knew just what to say. I told them it just came naturally, but really, it was my mother speaking from the pit of my stomach. It was all those years of her repeated advice, the words I thought that I had ignored. During one of our very rare phone calls from basic, I told her how amazed I was. That I thought that I had been ignoring her, but somehow had captured all those invaluable words she had so easily doled out on my brother and me. I had brought her with me to basic, one of the most difficult times of my life, when I had needed my mother so much. I also told her about the struggles my friends were going through. And do you know what my amazing mother did?! She sent THEM letters and notes and mail, but most importantly, she sent them a mother’s love. And they felt it. They told me what I already knew, that I was one of the luckiest daughters in the world. I had a mother whose love was so big, she shared it even with complete strangers that she had never met. She made a rough time in our lives a little more bearable. I will never forget that.
So, I guess what I am trying to say is, if I do turn out like my mother, I couldn’t imagine a better person to be. If I did swallow her words, her advice, I couldn’t imagine a sweeter flavor to consume. My mother truly is a one of a kind person, and I should be so lucky to turn out just like her… even if I do fight it sometimes. 😉
Oh, and Mom, I forbid you to use this knowledge against me in any future disagreements! Ha! Love you, Mom! You’re the best!!!!