I Think I've Become My Mother
When I was young, sometimes my mother would ask me to do something for no good reason. Like, “Pam, please clean out the dog’s dish and feed her before we go.” I was a curious child and I probably wore out the word “why,” because when I’d use it she’d invariably say, “Just because I said so!” I hated that! I vowed when I grew up and had children, that I’d never say, “Just because I said so!” Instead I would explain, lovingly to the questioning child what my reasons were. I’d take time to make sure my children understood. Ha! I probably said, “Just because I said so,” a thousand times more than Mom ever did.
Mom passed away in 1999 and in recent years, I realize I don’t miss her now as much as I did, because I think I’ve turned into her! I hear her laugh when I laugh, I hear her grunt when I lean over to pick something up from the floor. I hear her sigh at a beautiful sunrise or coo holding an infant. When I least expect it she’s right there. And just like breaking my vow on the just because sentence, I’m doing the very things she used to do that bugged me when I was younger.
The other day I was trying to remember Laura Linney’s name to my daughter, and Mom was right there as I tried to recall Laura’s name.
“You know that blonde actress.”
“Yeah, the one that’s really beautiful and she’s been in a lot of movies with. . . oh what’s his name, you know the guy with blue eyes.”
“Mom, there are lots of beautiful blond actresses who’ve been in lots of movies with guys with blue eyes.”
“Her hair is long and she wears it up a lot.”
“Oh, now that helps!”
“Let’s see, she was in that movie, what was it called? It was about a president who has a major stroke and his aid tries to cover it up. She played the president’s girlfriend?”
“President’s girlfriend, uhh, I don’t know that movie.”
“Oh, you do too! I know you saw it. And you love that actor that played the president, I can’t think of his name, he’s real cute, and in that movie he played two people, the president who had the stroke and the look alike. Oh the look alike was Dave! That’s the movie, DAVE!”
“Oh, yeah, Kevin Kline played Dave, but what actress, Sigourney Weaver was the co-star.”
“No, not Sigourney Weaver, she’s a brunette with short hair. This one played the president’s girlfriend. Oh what’s her name? I think it starts with an M! She was real young then and had a small part. You know she was in that series about Adams and she played Adam’s wife Abigail. Maybe her name starts with an A! Oh well, I’ll probably think of it in the middle of the night.”
Indeed, that’s what happened as my brain relaxed during sleep (probably akin to defragging) and scanned its files, finally coming to the Ls (without having to scan the Ms) and behold Laura Linney came forward.
I know both my daughters roll their eyes when they see my name on their caller ID, and I wouldn’t doubt they’ve made similar vows as I have in my life. I just hope they love me as much as I love my mom. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers of the world.