Friday, October 26, 2007

That's Where I Get It From?

My mom just left after a few days visiting. Whenever anyone says that their mother or mother-in-law is visiting, I always go into high observation mode to determine if it is a good thing or not. I'm always excited no matter who is visiting and dream of owning a bed and breakfast some day, but visits from family members always mean that some extra baggage may follow. Sometimes I fear the baggage and I wonder if others feel the same.

As the moment of my mother's arrival came closer, I found myself feeling more and more like the bratty, negative teenager I once was. Now, don't get me wrong, I never actually had the opportunity to be a bratty, negative teenager which is probably why I'm still one. When I should have been revolting against the 'rents they were too busy running out the door every night in a one upmanship of activity leading to their very hate-filled divorce. There was nobody in the house to act out against, just my brother and I doing our homework and watching t.v. every night.

So, mom's coming to visit, we have nothing in common, and I'm feeling like a brat. For years, I have firmly believed that I am nothing like my mom. My husband once asked how I turned out the way I did since I was so very different from my mom and grandmother. I always say that I'm just like my dad. He was a "can do" guy who would organize businesses to protest new township rules and work with troubled youths.

Imagine my surprise when I took my mom to hear my friend's band and she really enjoyed the rock music. She was tapping her foot, and had a great time. When the band finished she wanted to stay for the next band. There was no next band, but boy 'o boy is that exactly how I am. I always want them to keep bringing the bands on and I'll stay all night into the next morning without ever growing tired. My mom always either had Elvis or country music playing on the radio. I would sing along and dream of being a star. I can't remember my dad ever listening to music.

I pride myself on being able to pull back and analyze myself completely so this was astounding to me. My love of bands is one of my most defining characteristics and it comes from my mom. But that's not all.

While mom was here, she was with me everywhere I went. My life was happening and she was here. My friend was featured on Montel Williams. She's a friend who I help out when she needs me. The show was on domestic violence and she did an awesome job. Mom and her boyfriend, Donald, and I watched together. We also had been in the car the day before when a male friend called and we had a nice conversation and made plans which mom heard. I felt it necessary to explain that he was gay so it was okay to get together with him. Plus, I spent a great deal of time showing her pictures of my outreach efforts to families at my school where I have a wide assortment of friends.

I have a WIDE assortment of friends. Many of which need a helping hand and I'm there to give it to them. I used to HATE that my mom did this. She was friends with all these different people all the time. She still spends a great deal of time telling me how she helps this friend and that friend, and their situations, and what she does and...

Wait a minute, I get ths from her too? Honestly, I have never, ever thought of myself as being anything like my mom. We don't get along and we don't have anything in common. I can't believe it took me this long to discover these connections.

I'm thankful for the visit. I'll be spending a great deal of time thinking about the two of us and how we are not that different. Also, I'll be wondering about my sons in the future and how they might be like me.

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