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The Mother Mirror

Monday, 2 April 2012

I’ve known since I was a little kid that I favor my mom. It is a whole other thing to wake up to her face looking back at me in the mirror. It is actually quite a startling experience and one that I was totally unprepared for!

I don’t really know when it happened & I honestly haven’t decided how I feel about it either. Part of that I think, has to do with the odd relationship I have with my mom & really my parents in general. My mom is…quirky, that’s the word…quirky. I can see much of her in me but more often in the ways I think she would’ve turned out if she’d made some different choices when she was younger. 

     My mom was always the “cool” mom because she didn’t hover & all that stuff. At the same time, that allowed me to get into a lot of things that I probably shouldn’t & couldn’t if she’d been less “cool”. I’m not saying that I’m blaming her or my dad. I fortunately turned out fairly well after some pretty rough roads, fits & odd starts.  The stuff that I did and went through helped shape me to who I am & I think that person is pretty groovy. Let me be clear that saying that is about my self acceptance rather than narcissism.

It has taken me many years to come to a place where I can say that I truly like & even love who I am.  And, I’ve reached that great place where I don’t care if others like me or not. That’s not to say that it isn’t nice when people do like me, it’s just not the most important thing in my world.

So, back to the whole waking up & realizing I look almost exactly like my mom at this age. It actually was a mixed reaction of awe & fear.  Around 40, which I am rapidly skidding toward, was when my mom started to change in ways I never thought she would. So, when I realized the resemblance those old fears came quick behind the fascination of the recognition. As a little kid I wanted to be like my mom. Then I started to get a little older & got a much more realistic view of who my parents were as people and also that they are just people like me and they happen to also be parents.  For many years there was the fear that I would end up like them and let me tell you, that was a whole hornet’s nest of fears. Don’t misunderstand, I love my parents but there are a lot of things that I do not LIKE about who they are as people.

Then I find myself with those old fears coming to the surface again. Those dragons that I was sure I had slain years past. So why were they here again? What had I missed? What had I failed to do? Had I missed an un-hatched dragon’s egg in some cave? What?

After taking a deep breath & stepping away from the mirror for a bit I began to review.  I looked back over the years of work, recovery, life altering moments and then came to rest on who I am today.  I had to stop and take a good, long, hard look at who I am today; warts and all.  I have my faults and they are many, part of being human I think, but they aren’t fatal and they are reparable if I so choose to continue to work on them. 

In the end I came to the conclusion that I hadn’t missed anything in the journey so far; I had worked hard and persevered.   And today I am my own whole and complete person, who may physically resemble my parents but I am not them.  I looked in the mirror again and yes, I did see my mom’s face looking back at me.  You know what though?  I recognized a glimmer in the eyes that my mom never had, one that says I have secrets untold and adventures to have.  I see a tilt of the chin that says I am my own person and good luck to you trying to tell me anything different.  I became aware of a lift of my shoulders that says I can bear the burdens of life and put them off to rest when I am tired of carting around things unnecessary.  I see the strength in my arms to hold those I care about close and defend them and myself as needed.  I see the welcoming and mischievous, impish and somewhat childlike smile that says “Welcome to my world!  Wait until you see what I have to show you!” 

All in all, I see me.  I see the me in many ways that I have wanted and have striven to be my whole life.  The voyage is far from over and I am embarking on new adventures even now!  Each day I continue to create the me I want to be. No matter who I “look like”, at the end of the day I am me.

I am Magnolia Nightingale and pleased to make your acquaintance.

One Comment leave one →
  1. ~muse permalink
    Tuesday, 3 April 2012 10:35 pm

    Followed from FL and love this! Latchkey kid from the 70’s so I can totally relate!

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