Monday, October 20, 2008

Becoming My Mother

Becoming My Mother

It’s official – I’ve turned into my mother.

I suspected as much last summer when we were both caught wearing similar bathrobes and slippers. It became clearer upon discovering both our pre-Katrina preparations included boiling eggs and filling the bathtub with water. Let’s face it, for years we’ve laugh at the same jokes, enjoyed the same books and movies, and appreciated good puns. (Not everyone can, you know.) And in spite of the fact she loves squash, which I despise; my notions that I was becoming my mother were recently validated at the local Dollar General Store.

“I’ve got to get a pair of reading glasses,” she began. “I just can’t read the fine print on boxes anymore.” As she perused the reading glass rack my suspicion was confirmed, for it wasn’t my mother who was trying them on and speaking, it was me!

I’ve always had 20/20 vision and became slightly irritated when my mother would say, “Just a minute, let me get my glasses first,” every time I asked her to look at something. Over the past year, however, I’ve noticed a few changes. Manufacturers have changed the print size on their packaging, the light by my reading chair has grown dimmer, and people have been standing too close to my face during conversations.

Alas, the evidence mounted to beyond a reasonable doubt, so I scheduled an appointment with the optometrist. “When you reach forty your eye muscles start weakening,” she politely said during the exam. “You could use a pair of reading glasses.” What she meant was, “Nothing’s wrong with you; you’re just getting older.” Well meaning? Yes, but it brought little comfort coming from a twenty-six year old.

My mother and mother-in-law are forty…well, er... at least they were the last time I noticed. My mother-in-law’s fortieth birthday celebration was only yesterday. Wasn’t it? I was madly in love with her son at the time. The simple fact she was my boyfriend’s mother meant she was old. (Ahem…I mean old-er.) My own mother was forty when I married that same fellow, and we’ve only been married a mere…let’s see…twenty-one years. Twenty-one years?!?!? Yikes! That makes me…oh, my!...forty-one! How did that creep up on me?!?!?! That means I’m old! (I mean old-er.)

To be honest, turning into my mother isn’t such a horrid thing. She’s smart, caring, a hard worker, has a heart for God, and can make an awesome pan of chicken and dumplings. She has a great sense of humor and a love of books that’s been passed down to me and at least one granddaughter. She has a creative side I greatly admire, is a good listener, and repeatedly puts her faith into action. I consider myself blessed to be her child.

I modeled my new reading glasses for my own children the night I got them. “They’re cute!” one said kindly. Another wasn’t quite so tactful. “You look like Grandma,” she declared.

Actually, I hope I do.

© Drewe Llyn Jeffcoat 2005

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