I never thought I was like my mother. To be honest, on the emotional side, my sister is more like my mother than me – almost a perfect mirror in fact (sorry Amy) so much so, that I have never worried about becoming my mother. Or rather, never thought I would become my mother. Not that it’s anything to “worry” about really – my mother is pretty amazing. She is one of the most thoughtful, caring, compassionate people I know, and she has a way with people that is so open and inviting that people instantly feel comfortable with her. I do not have this ability. I am a proud, cold, North Country woman. It’s not that I completely avoid people, but I’m certainly not going to talk to you at the checkout. If you make eye contact with me in line for coffee, most likely I will look at my phone and pretend to be busy. I have no idea why I do this – I am not, in fact, a people hater. I was for a certain period of time in my mid twenties, but I think it’s because I was spending tons of time waiting tables, and to be a waitress and a people hater really goes hand in hand.
Since I was so focused on the fact that I was clearly not my mother in all the emotional ways, I didn’t realize that where I am almost exactly like my mother are the physical ways. Not our bodies mind you, but how we handle them. My mother couldn’t catch a ball to save her life. If you were depending on her to move a ball in any way towards a goal, you should probably put it in her purse and put a sign that says JEWELRY THIS WAY at the goal line. (Side note: clearly I am sports-challenged, I have no idea if you call it a goal line. Basket? SCORE! Who knows.)And add a cash register of course. But make the path clear. No obstacles. Because if there is even a blade of grass in her way, she’ll go down. And this, my friends, is where I am EXACTLY. LIKE. MY. MOTHER.
This past weekend we were shopping for Banana’s back to school stuff, and my mom went to step up onto a curb, got distracted by a cute little red car, and didn’t lift her foot up all the way. Because she has already hurt her knee and is awaiting surgery for it, she used her hands to cover her knee, not to break her fall. So she fell on her face. People say that, but she actually fell flat on her face. Her face HIT the pavement. I had to help her roll over. You don’t know what it’s like to watch someone fall face down and just hit the pavement. You’re shocked that it’s happening, because who has their face actually hit the pavement? My mom. And although it’s that Buster Keaton kind of funny, it’s your mom, so your fear of ending up in the ER outweighs it. At least for a few minutes. Now, it’s kind of hilarious. Because she’s okay. And as she was going down, because of course it was in slow motion, I thought to myself – DAMN, that’s gonna be me.
What I also realized, is that my little Banana is actually more like my mother in all ways than me.
Because, where my mother’s darling personality has skipped over me, it has settled in Banana. She wants to know and talk to everyone she sees. Whereas I will certainly say hello to someone I’m passing, she will say hello, how are you, what is your name, how old are you, do you have any children, and what’s in that bag of yours, and don’t I just love your necklace, where did you get it? But she does it in an endearing way (like my mother) so people don’t get annoyed with her. This past weekend, she was scooting by a neighbor’s house, and the neighbors friend was outside, and she said, to the friend, who she didn’t know, “Can you see if Muffy can come out, I want to make sure I say hi to her”. Muffy is a 65 year old retired woman that Banana has talked to maybe 4 or 5 times in her life. I have no idea why Banana felt the need to DRAW HER OUT of her home to say hello, but she did. And while she was scooting back over to my folks house to alert us that she had invited Muffy over, like a good little mini-Nana, she WIPED OUT. Right. Nana.