When Did I Become My Mother?

I’ve always been a Daddy’s girl; I think I still am. Dad and I share similar intellects, thought processes, and senses of humor. We click. I never had a bad relationship with my mom; I was just always closer to Dad.

Then why is it that lately I’ve seen a lot more of Mom showing up in my life? Mom is seeping out of me in weird ways I wouldn’t have expected, and I’m frankly a little surprised by it.

No worries though; my momma is pretty darn awesome, and she’s taught me some important things along the way!

  1. You can never have too many cupcake papers. Mom has a drawer in her kitchen chock full of cupcake papers. Yellow ones, red ones, flowered ones, striped ones, big ones, small ones – literally every size and color combination you can think of, Mom has it. This is not a small drawer. (Oh, and she also has a separate cupboard just for sprinkles and colored sugar with which to decorate said cupcakes.) So why are cupcake papers so important? Because Mom believes that special occasions should be perfect and memorable and that specially crafted desserts are part of that. And putting in the effort to make a special dessert for someone’s special day shows just how much you care.

I may not have a drawer full of cupcake papers, and my collection of sprinkles is miniscule compared to Mom’s. But I do enjoy baking for special occasions. Like that time I made this cake to celebrate a particularly exciting success my office had. It was a little weird, and not as perfect as Mom’s would’ve been, but it got the point across.

A special cake for a special victory!
A special cake for a special victory!
  1. Christmas and birthdays should be celebrated grandly! I guess this is along the same lines as the cupcake thing, but it just goes to show how much Mom really enjoys making people and occasions feel special. Christmas in our house was always a momentous occasion – from the mountains of cookies, to the thousands of lights on the tree, to the specially selected “Santa paper” our presents were wrapped in each year. During Christmas time, our house was always a carefully crafted wonderland of Mom’s magic. Let me tell you, Martha Stewart ain’t got nothing on Barb H.

Oh, and birthdays were always a big thing too. My brother and I share a birthday, so Mom would always make sure we had the same number of presents and that we took turns getting the regular cake or the ice cream cake. It was always fair and each of us felt individually loved even though we shared our day.

Santa's workshop?  Or Crate & Barrel catalog?  Nope, just home.
Santa’s workshop? Or Crate & Barrel catalog? Nope, just home.
  1. Family rooms should be welcoming, and it’s ok if they’re a little messy. Our house was always clean. We had some clutter sometimes because, well, we lived there. But Mom always did a great job of keeping things tidy (a trait I see in myself nowadays.) But the decorations and furniture were never so important that we didn’t feel like we could be comfortable. The couch and carpet picked up a few stains over the years, but family, friends, coworkers, and classmates always felt at home in our family room – even if it hadn’t been vacuumed in a few days. Because at the end of the day, Mom knew that furniture was just stuff that could be replaced, and it was more important that home felt like family, no matter who was there.
  1. It’s ok to cry. I don’t cry. Like ever. I believe that crying should be reserved for funerals and broken bones (and maaaaaybe when they kill McDreamy off of Grey’s Anatomy after 10 seasons.) Mom cries at Hallmark movies and cute puppies and everything else. We’re very different in this regard. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve become a little less of an emotional robot and have found a few more reasons to cry about stuff. I finally understand where Mom is coming from. Mom’s leaky tear ducts spring from a heart that genuinely cares about other people and celebrates their successes and feels their pain. The tears multiply the joy and lighten the burden of sorrow.

So, when I find myself sweeping the floors at work and I happen to leave a pile of dirt right in the middle of the walkway and then get after my coworkers when they step in it, I can’t help but shake my head and smile, because of how many times I stepped in Mom’s dirt pile.

And I can’t help but shake my head and smile because this Daddy’s girl is a lot like her momma after all.

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