It’s fun to joke that with time we all become our mothers, but as time passes for me I am looking forward to the transition. I have a little over a year’s worth of my own momming under my belt and in that time my admiration for everything my mother has done has swelled to new heights.
Sure there are the obvious ways I’m already her – trying to overfeed everyone at parties and in general, panicking last minute and adding another side to the menu before an event. My obsession with chocolate and sweets, and the ability to drink coffee any time of day. The phrases, ‘good parking means good shopping,’ ‘rut roh, ruby rah’ and ‘sha-boom sha-boom’ are a natural part of my vocabulary.
That aside, whether it was done with intention or just a side effect of being around her, my mother created a world for me that didn’t have limitations. I have never felt like I couldn’t or shouldn’t do something because I was a woman. I have seen her chop down trees; saw and build; install tile, wallpaper and blinds; buy cars on her own; play sports; sew; make weeknight dinners and full Thanksgiving feasts as if it was no big deal. Credit to my father, I never heard him say, “Dawn, you shouldn’t be doing that” exceptions to this were likely right before she fired up a chainsaw and in those instances, she did it anyway. Things that now I understand women tend to hesitate on, because of stereotype or accepted norms have never seemed to apply from my view.
She worked sewing and painting crafts at night while we slept so she could stay home with us while we were young, and when we were old enough for school she worked during the day. She eventually started running her own Interior Design business which meant she got to be her own boss and make the rules.
On top of her sheer tenacity to do…everything, her support has been unyielding. Being far enough from it now, I can understand the strength and faith it took to say, “If you’re sure, ok” to things like…trading my shoulder length hair for a spikey crop cut, dying my hair green, blonde, black, luscious mango red, and pink. Trusting that I understood the financial impact of going to a private university and watching (while likely holding her breath) as I played rugby for a semester, and giving the freedom to make all of the countless other foolish, but to me highly important life decisions in my teens and early twenties.
As they grow, if I can create an environment for my children in which they feel anything is truly possible and they know I will support them in their choices, on top of making them sweet toothed food pushers I will have officially transitioned and be forever grateful.