Just Like Mom

Just Like Mom

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom

Just Like Mom

Mothers and daughters are closest, when daughters become mothers.
~Author Unknown

“You are going to be just like your mother,” my father would tell me when I was younger. I am pretty sure that he did not mean it as a compliment, since he would only say this to me when I disagreed with him or was being stubborn. Since I was about fifteen at the time, I was more afraid of this than anything else in my life: Even more than pimples, dating, and high school.

I was determined to never let myself become my mother. I was sure that I was going to mature into a much cooler person than my mother could ever be. I resigned myself to never judge people based on how they looked. (So what if I had a penchant for bringing home strays that were not of the small, cute, or cuddly nature?) I knew with every fiber of my being that I would never tell my daughter she couldn’t stay out with her friends, or that she needed to put more clothing on before leaving the house. I would never be so stuck up about things. At least, that is what I thought at the oh-so informed age of seventeen.

My independent streak only grew as I got older, went to college and moved out on my own. I was even more determined to do things differently than my parents had. I was going to get it right. How hard could it be? I was living on my own, and yet my mother was still attempting to control my behavior.

“Shannon,” she’d say each time I would tell her about my plans, “you’re being stupid about this.” I wondered what was stupid about wanting to go to the beach for spring break. I decided to stop telling her my plans, hoping to eliminate the motherly input.

By the age of nineteen, I was convinced that I had everything figured out. I married my high school sweetheart, and for once my parents were pleased with one of my choices. At the age of twenty-two, I gave birth to my first child, a girl.

A beautiful little girl, who owned my heart from the first moment she looked at me. Before that moment, I had strived so hard to not be like my mother. I did not want to nag, to hover, to smother. This was not to be.

As the months and years passed after my daughter’s birth, I came to realize how wonderful my mother was. She loved with every fiber of her being. She protected me with a fierceness that would rival that of any mother bear. She gave up all of her dreams and wants in order to provide for me. She nagged because she knew the world was not “all puppies and roses,” as I had blindly believed. She knew that loving her child was the most important gift she could ever give. And she was right.

After spending twenty-plus years striving to be the polar opposite of my mother, I realized how much I wanted to be just like her. I wanted to love my daughter the same way my mother loves me. I was no longer afraid of becoming her; I was scared to death of not being enough like her! I wanted to love, laugh, live the same way my mother had. I wanted to give my daughter the same things my mother sacrificed to give me. I saw the love of a mother from an entire different light. My mother became my hero.

My father still jokes with me, saying I am just like my mother. I smile and thank God that I am living my life in a way that allows me to fill those shoes. I still bring home strays, but I stick to those of the mammal nature these days. And now my mother laughs heartily when my daughter tests me with strays of her own.

~Shannon Scott

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