When I was younger I never understood why my parents didn’t go out on Friday nights. I mean they didn’t have to work the next day and there was no need to wake up early. My mother would say that it had been a long week and they were too tired. It made no sense to me back then. Then I started working, adulting and parenting… Now when Friday rolls around, I completely understand. Of course, I’m not going out!
It’s time to find a comfy spot on the couch, grab a blanket, and not rise up off of it unless it’s utterly necessary. It helps that my children are old enough that they can entertain themselves. More often than not, they’ll retreat to their respective computers, which leaves me free to watch TV, write, or scroll through social media.
A couple of Friday nights ago, as I was starting my Friday night ritual, my 10 year old daughter strolled over to the couch where I was sitting. This is my Friday night couch! She sat down next to me and began to maneuver herself under the blanket. I asked if she was going to head down to the basement to hang with her brother to play video and computer games. She shook her head no and said, “I just want to be with you mama.” And that was it – we laid on the couch, under the covers and watched back-to-back-to-back episodes of Friends – which by the way has way more sexual innuendos than I remembered! (Guess she’s too young for it – but there’s no point in turning back now.)
All so reminiscent of when my younger sister and I spent Friday nights watching television with our mother in her bed. We’d watch Dallas at 9 p.m. and Falcon Crest at 10 p.m. We got hooked, but it wasn’t really about those nighttime soaps. It was about our mom – we just wanted to be with her. Just as my girl wants to be with me. Nothing more, nothing less. Such similarities in our relationships, including the fact that both my mother and I let our daughters watch television shows that aren’t quite age inappropriate! Oops.
It’s the Little Things
A few weeks ago, my daughter was presenting a project at Girl Scouts. As I watched her, images of both myself and my mother flip-flopped back and forth in my mind! Genes are freaky (see the above picture!). Our looks are an obvious similarity. One that no one can dispute!
Yet, when I compare my relationship with my daughter, with my relationship with my mother (especially as I was growing up), I find that it’s the smallest aspects of life that show the most similarities. Sometimes it’s even just a look or an opinion. It doesn’t always dawn on me and then all of a sudden, I think “Yep, there she is again!”
- Anyone out there have “Baby Alive?” I wanted that so so so much as a kid. Mom’s answer was no, no, no! I begged and begged to no avail. When my daughter was six years old, she was received the doll as a present. I was way more excited than my daughter because I finally got to play with Baby Alive! Within minutes I started thinking “Grossssss!” Get this thing away from me. Is that an echo of my mother’s laugh?
- When my daughter asks me to play board games, most of the time I am a willing participant because I do actually enjoy them. I can’t help but chuckle because my mother hated playing board games. It was a running joke, but she would compromise and play cards at times. Rummy and gin stand out as our go-to games. While I still like playing board games, at times I do find myself recommending cards, as well as teaching my daughter the same card games. Playing cards has become a favorite of hers and now she asks for it. Wait. How did that happen? Well “played” mom, well played.
- Apparently, I had pretty sharp grumpy side during my elementary school years. Apparently, my favorite saying was, “Stop it! Stop it!” My parents insisted I growled when I said it and were even kind enough to make me a t-shirt saying, “Stop it! Stop it! Grrr…” Well, boys and girls…karma certainly is real, because my girl basically gives me the same saying. I’ll bet it’s louder and more often too! Stop that side-eye smirk, ma.
- During our Friday night sessions mentioned above, or now and then before bed, my mother would check in with us about the latest gossip at school. Things like “who liked who” and other scoop. There was a sense of, “Why does she care? Why does she want to know?” Here we are though – 30 years later – you guessed it. I do the same. (Although I do wish I could say that she was too young to speak of “who likes who,” but it’s just not the case in 2018!). She doesn’t open up quite as much, but I love chatting, followed by the swear of secrecy. Subsequently, I’ve been able to answer my own questions of, “Why does she care? Why does she want to know?” It’s a look into my girl’s life – who she is and who she is becoming. Nice lesson, my mama.
- Growing up, I recall looking at my mother like she was a goddess. I really did. She was the most beautiful lady in the whole wide world and I wished I looked like her. In reality I did, but I always thought she was prettier. Even when I may be looking and feeling my worse, out of nowhere, my girl offers me the same looks and same compliments that I gave to my mother. When the daughters see the truest and raw reflections of ourselves.
Thank You, My Mother
I’m certain that I’ll continue to trip upon subtle hints that solidify that my relationship with my mother molds my relationship with my daughter. It may not be outwardly obvious, but it is intrinsic in so much that I do – consciously or not! I find that it’s less of the seemingly apparent aspects of life, but rather it’s ours values, morals and ethics that are weaved into these precious, silly and loving moments.
This is totally intertwined into who we are as people – as women and as mothers and daughters. I thank my mother for instilling this into me. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank my beautiful daughter for shaping me as well. I’m also who I am because of her (and her brother, but this is all about the ladies right now!). If she grows up and is lucky enough to have a daughter, I hope that some of our funny and loving times show up for her when she least expects it.