I Am My Mother; My Daughter Is Me
They say "sugar & spice and everything nice" is what little girls are made of but apparently my mother, or so I thought, was made of "crazy & tough and it's never good enough." As I reflect back over the years, being with my mom and being raised by my grandmother, (both deceased now) most of the things I said I would NEVER do or say, "when I become a mother," has somehow eclipsed into my actions, reactions and captions.
Some of the words, will and ways of my mom and grand-mom that I once despised, I became. It's funny how when you are young, the life of adults appears to be care-free, unrestricted and fearless. They make it look easy to pay bills, eat and operate in day-to-day life. Little did I know that behind the scenes, they agonized, analyzed and prioritized to make ends meet and beginnings sweet.
My attitude, personality and character, was framed by the actions, values and words of my mother and grand-mother. Every day I was adopting ways, routines and behaviors that would make me a mini-them. I laugh when I think about the pet-peeves, sayings and mannerisms that I hated growing up but now freely and proudly heap on others. Now that I am a mother and grandmother, I know from experiences, exposures and encounters about the heartbreak, heartache and heartburn from the consequences of unwise choices or the effects from just living life. I don't know how many times I heard, "Keep on living" or, "You got yourself in, get yourself out." I didn't know who "tough love" was but I utterly despised him/her.
I have a daughter that is just like me. And not just physical attributes but emotionally, mentally and psychologically just like me. That means facing myself every single day of my life. Early on, I thought it was the worst punishment ever but now that I'm wiser and settled into who I am, I welcome the strength in dealing with my issues and my "daughlter-ego" (alter plus daughter.)
She is a pain and a thorn in my growth. If I only knew then what I know now, I would have set a better example for her. While I believe that there are valleys you must tread and mountains each of us are to climb for individual victories, I also think that a better life lesson is one that you learn from others taking the test and sharing the testimony with you. Everything I was, my daughter was or is and it drives me insane and even sometimes to drink. Why does the apple have to fall from the tree and emulate me? The flip side to that is, my daughter is also compassionate, giving and loves solitude just like me. The similarities are a perfect balance…like a "chip off the diamond."
Having this person that shadows & stalks your walk and talk, can be intimidating because your virtue and features as well as your flaws and vices undoubtedly manifest in them. The things I learned from my grandmother and mother, good and bad, continue the cycle of being generationally incorporated by myself and my daughter. To me, that is a blessing and a burden.
Even though my daughter and I have replayed scenes from my childhood and adolescent years, not to mention she is directly accountable for half the gray hair on my head, I love her to life. I gave my grandmother and mother hell but before they departed, both of them told me how proud they were and also voiced to me that I would do more, see more and experience more than they did during their life. Those words to me meant that their lessons, love and labor in my life would always light my path to conquer, correct and carry me during the best or worst of times.
I hope that the messages, marks and mistakes in my life, will leave a legacy for my daughter that will give her courage, control and capability to succeed with the ancestry traditions of integrity, intensity and individuality that precede both of us. After all, she is my mother, my grandmother and me.
© Copyright 2017, Stone
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