Wednesday, January 19, 2011

on becoming my mother

It's happening. I'm becoming my mother. Er, actually, it's been happening, since the day I figured out she really is smarter than me somewhere around the time I started having kids of my own who were inevitably born thinking they were smarter than me.

Having my parents here last week, especially since I was deathly ill{cough, cough}, made me take stock in all the ways that I am my mother. It was so nice having her here to pamper me and take care of me and tend my flock. I guess Sean does that, sorta, in a more man-ish way, but a mom is something entirely different.

I don't dwell on being homesick because there's really nothing I can do about it. When they're here, though, and then they're's tough. I miss my people.

My mom caters to me. It's only natural as I am her favorite. If my siblings beg to differ, they need to start their own blog and make erroneous statements, too. I don't fight with my mom. Once upon a time there were claws revealed in our house quite often, but into adulthood, we've never really lived close by long enough to worry about arguing.

I appreciate that. I love that. I love her.

Now that I'm an Air Force wife, for better or worse, I realize just how little credit my mom got from the world. She was married to the Air Force. She lived the life that I've only just begun and without any of the modern day conveniences. I remember recording tapes for my grandparents when we lived overseas b/c it was so expensive to call. She left home just out of her teens to be with a certain Airman I call Dad.

I told Sean not long ago that I don't want all of our vacations to be spent going home to see our family. That's what we did growing up. Every summer we drove an insane amount of miles to invest in extended family memories that only really seemed to serve one purpose: realizing you never want to move "home." As an adult, having met some of those family members on this side of age...I get it. I also get that there's really no where else I'd rather spend a vacation than with my crazy family. I want my kids to know what aunts and uncles are like beyond just a birthday card.

My mom packed and unpacked enough houses to give any Mayflower employee a run for his money. She seemed lonely a lot, which I noticed as a kid and now totally get as an adult. Stay at home moms, especially ones who move a lot, are lonely. She always made sure my dad's uniforms were ironed and that we had dinner as a family around the table every single night. She made us play outside and was strict enough about vegetables that we at least had to try to be creative in how we slipped 'em to the dog.

I recently learned my dad was gone a lot more than I remembered as a kid. They weren't long deployments, but lots and lots of really short work assignments. I don't remember that stuff because my mom made sure our lives were steady.

She only saw her mom, her family, her "home," once a year, if she was lucky. She never, ever, ever complained. Not about my dad, not about his job, not about their life.

I realize it more the older I get that I am, in fact, turning into my mother, I see it's not a bad thing at all. There's not a single woman in this world I would rather strive to be than her.  She gave me the ability to stand strong and not waffle in the face of hardship. As much as I want to run home and get a hug when things are crap, she instilled in my hard red head that I'm tough enough to do it on my own. Mama knew when this chickie flew the coop, I needed the right kinda lift so as not to come back. She gave me great, strong, beautiful, roots, but more importantly, wings. For that, I am forever grateful.


Corey said...

this is such a very sweet post! You have such a way with words, Chrissy. I love the way you tell a story. :)

Jude said...

super sweet :)

hippo chick said...

This is beautiful. As a daughter who misses her mom and a mom of adult daughters, I am blessed read it.

~hippo hugs~

Tracy said...

I discovered your blog through Pam (hippo chick). This is a wonderful post. I lost my mom to cancer when I was 20 and never got the chance to have a grown-up relationship with her - to tell her all the things she was right about. I often think about the things we would talk about or do together if we had the chance.

nicole said...

beautiful chrissy!

Brown English Muffin said...

Amen to this post, there's no one I'd rather grow up to be like than my mother.

You know you've done a good job when your kids want to grow up to be like you. I can't imagine an abusive, alcoholic mother that a kid NEVER EVER wants to be like, that means you FAILED at your job!

Niki Hill said...

What more can I say than, ditto all of what Chrissy said (I have a blog, but I only wrote on it twice so I'm taking over yours for a minute)... Mom, you are amazing and one of the strongest women I have ever met-many people don't know that about you. Sometimes I wonder if you know that about you. I do remember the stretches of time when dad was gone a lot and I do appreciate that you kept it consistant for us. I am so greatful to have you near me, something I know you didn't have yourself while you were raising us. Love you!


Anonymous said...

What a special post! You do have such a way with words! I really like those pictures of your folks,too. I just enjoy your stuff!!!