We Become Our Mothers

It happens when you least expect it.

We become our mothers. This truth hit me hard during a recent conversation I had with my 3 oldest children. It went something like this:

Me: If I ever find out that you used that kind of language with your friends at school or your friends at church, you will wish you were never born.

Them: [speechless, deer-in-the-headlights eyes]

Me: Do you understand?

Them: [shaky voices] Yes, ma’am.

I walked away with a rare feeling of success.

I also had an out-of-body experience. Did I just say that?

Often, I still feel like I’m that 18-year-old girl who just graduated from high school. Or the 7-year-old who just finished her first dance recital. But, in reality, I have crow’s feet around my eyes and I’m saying things to my kids like: “Oh, moms have a special talent for finding things out.” Or this little gem: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Really? Has it come down to that? Ugh. Listen, I take time to deal with the deeper issues in my children’s hearts, but sometimes  glib phrases are the best thing my little brain can handle when I’m cooking dinner, feeding the baby, and managing conflict for the umpteenth time.

Something else happens, too, during these brief out-of-body experiences when I realize I’m just like my mother. I see her through the lens of grace. It’s a shame that it took this long. Now that I have my own children, I understand why she didn’t want to answer the tenth question from me or why she fell asleep on the couch at night or why she told me: “Mothers have a special way of finding things out.”

A friend of mine from high school recently posted the same sentiment on Facebook. While her 9-year-old daughter was riding her bike away from the house, she yelled out from her front porch: “Make good choices!” She humorously added that it was now time to put her mom-jeans on. May it NEVER be so, but you can bet those same words will roll off my tongue in the next few days, heck…hours. Just like my mother.

We Become Our Mothers

My mama and me. Isn’t she per-tty? **Who remembers Olan Mills?!

How have you become like your mother? What phrases do you pull out of your back pocket?

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