Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall...

"Mirror, mirror on the wall... I am my mother after all!"

I saw a pillow that had that embroidered on it and had to chuckle. Don't you remember when your mom use to drive you a little nuts? Come on...admit it! I do. I use to think she was kinda out of it and didn't get the way the modern world worked very much at all. I was pretty sure I knew a better way. Of course I was a teenager then. It is amazing how much smarter our parents get as we get older. So many times lately I think..."Oh, that is what mom meant...I get it now." So many times I wish she was still alive so I could compliment her on her great wisdom in so many areas of everyday life.

The funny part is so many times you get those same feelings on the other side of the fence. I know my kids sometimes roll their eyes and think.."Oh, Mother!" They would probably say... I'm clueless! It is just part of the cycle of life and the way things work.

We learn many things after the fact. I can remember thinking as a kid, I will never do that when I grow up and become a mom...but, ironically you do. That is when you smile to yourself and wish you had that pillow! But you don't really need the pillow because you just know!

That thing that drove you crazy then is now mysteriously a part of who you have become! From my vantage point on this side of 50...I think it is poetic justice. I feel myself smiling when I think of how comical it really is. I think of the things people say to their kids when they are upset..."I hope you get a kid just like you!" Another funny one might be, "I hope you turn out just like me!" Of course you'd want to add "but better" but you don't tell them that then!

The truth is we just don't get certain things until we have experienced them ourselves. That is the pearl of great price in getting older! No amount of telling can replace being there yourself. As a mother, once in awhile you have to just bite your tongue and not say I told you so! But eventually we come to a certain meeting of the minds as mothers and daughters that just creates a friendship like no other, in the best of all worlds.

What got me thinking about this this morning was a series of posts on a sweet young woman's blog who just had a fun mommy/daughter time with her mom, my friend, Caroline. Nicki is a nanny and Caroline got to spend a week with her in NY recently. It was just so wonderful to read of her thoughts on her mom and how they have changed as she had become a young adult. Nicki's account of the visit can be found on her blog and here is just an excerpt that I thought was so precious.

Caroline & Nicki

Nicki said. "On our very last day together Mom taught me how to make homemade bread. A few months ago I tried to teach myself and it was nothing short of disaster, so this time around I was happy to have her expertise! It came out beautifully! We shared hot bread together before it was time to drive to the airport. A great way to end a wonderful visit.

I drove her to the airport that afternoon and to say that we were both a tad melancholy is acutely accurate. When it was time to say goodbye we hugged extra long and cried a little bit. Ariana had fallen asleep in the car and as I drove home I cried a little more.

It's funny to think of the progression of our relationship. Over the past few years it's morphed into a stronger friendship, I am so grateful for that. As a kid she was the Mommy who snuggled me and wrote notes on the napkins she put in my brown bag lunches. As a teenager she was the Mom who had to know "when, what, where & who?" and told me, "You could argue with a fence post!" {sorry about that one, Mom}. And now, as whatever I am, she's become my best friend, my shoulder to cry on, my outlet, my confidant, my go-to, my foundation and my example. I love it. There's nothing like a week of having your Mama all to yourself... can't wait until next time!"

This just touched me so much and made me think of my own mom and my daughters all at the same time. I am glad to be sandwiched in between such amazing women; mom and Jen and Laura who equal 100% happiness for me. I also I felt a lot of joy for my friend, Caroline, and for her job that has obviously been very well done!"

And it also made me feel sad for those wonderful women who have been such great moms. They have given their all but never have this experience with their daughters because their daughters have been given their agency to choose how they will treat their mothers. Sadly, in some cases it is quite different than this example of a mom and daughter who are best friends.

I just love it when I read something that really makes me feel something deep inside, that speaks truth to my soul in the way this blog post did. Thank you, Nicki and Caroline!

I am happy to say I am more like my mom than I could have ever dreamed possible. How can that not be when no one influences you more than your mom in your formative years and even after they are gone? I can still hear my mom's words in my head and heart.

Here is a slide show of the moms and daughters (and a few dads and sons) in our family that I made long ago.


Sister Susie said...

I don't know who it was that said, "The more life changes, the more it stays the same!" "Hind sight is 20/20!" It was probably a mom that uttered these words. Dads, in most cases, don't talk that much about these kind of "things," ha!
Blessings on you and yours,

Caroline Craven said...

Bonnie - I loved this blog (tee-hee). I read your spot about Nicki's blog before I had read hers, so reading your blog was my first sight of what Nicki had written. Needless to say, I was crying. We had a few rocky moments during those teenage years and if it hadn't been for Kent running interference things could have turned out very differently. I was thinking a lot of my mom during the first part of your blog and indeed, I am my mother reincarnate, thankfully! She is an amazingly strong woman. I also happen to have a sister whose daughter won't talk to her and she refuses to let her see her four grandchildren. It is so heartbreaking. This has been going on for years and now her oldest child is a teenager and my sister hasn't seen or talked to her since she was a toddler. She has never even seen the younger siblings. In fact, she has completely cut herself off from our family, other than a few notes to my mom. But none of us have seen her kids ever. You asked about my mom. The dr. told her today that next week he wants to do more blood tests and a CT. If her markers are down, she gets a 12 week vacation from the chemo. She needs one so we are all praying that mom is a good test-taker!!! Thanks for your concern and for asking. Loved the slide show, and enjoyed seeing all those great family pictures. They are the best!!

Julie Harward said...

I loved the slide show! Mom's and daughter...what a combination! It's so wonderful when our daughters start to be like us and come back to us with so much love and appreciation..love it! Come say hi :D

Bonnie said...

Laura wrote a response to this post but she can only read the blog on Google Reader in Italy so I am including her sweet words here...

"Mom, I loved your post on mother and daughters. It was so sweet and so very true. The funny thing is that I don't think I have ever thought or felt that you were out of touch or that I would never do something you had done (not about anything important anyway). Maybe you remember something different when I was a teenager but even then I don't remember feeling that way. I have always thought you were my best friend. I have always seen you as one I could trust, one who really wanted what was best for me. Maybe that is just because I am the youngest- I don't know. But I have always been so grateful for you in my life. I can attest to the fact that our mothers influence has a tremendous effect on who we become. I can see that in myself every day. I can see the things you taught me (that I am sure grandma taught you) being passed to my boys too. It is a very special thing. It is a testimony to me of the importance of family. We recently read in Malachi that the seeds of the promises made to the fathers would be planted in the heart of the children. And that the hearts of the fathers and children would be turned toward one another. And that if this did not happen the whole earth would be utterly wasted. It has made me thankful again and again for a great family and for the temple blessings that bind us together. These truths and promises give me so much peace and comfort and joy. They also give me the perspective I need to endure the trivial (and not too trivial) things that happen in families. Anyway, I love you. Thanks always for your words- they are a treasure to me. We have been studying a lot about the importance of journal keeping lately and how they bless the keeper and their families. Your journals have blessed all of our lives in so many ways- thanks for taking the time to keep one (or five :-)) and for sharing them with us!"


Marie said...

Bonnie, I can remember the first time I realized that I sounded just like my mother! Wow, what a wake up! I love my mom and I am so glad that I am like her in so many ways. I am the picture image of my father. Pretty hard to find my mom in there looks wise, but my heart is my mom's! Great post! (as always!) xxoo

Nicki Craven said...

Dear Bonnie,

I was happy to see your comments on my blog! It's been a long time... This post was sweet. Thanks for expounding on my thoughts so eloquently. Say Hi to "Brother Mattson"-the best home teacher ever! I just adored him [and still do] when I was little. Same goes for Laura, I remember when she got married I asked her if I could be her flowergirl:) tee hee. She indulged me with the title, if I remember correctly. Sweet family.

Love you,

LA Adams said...

Laura is a sweetheart - apple and the tree effect. Fantastic post, I'm pondering on it now.