Saturday, May 10, 2014

The real story of mothers and daughters.

I know what I should do.

I should buy my mother a pale pink, unfathomably overpriced Hallmark card that has a quote about unwavering love in oversized gold calligraphy. I should attempt to compete with all the other Facebook statuses, proclaiming my two sisters and me to actually have the "best mother in the world" (which brings to mind the scene from When Harry Met Sally where Marie says that everyone thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor...but they couldn't possibly all have good taste and a sense of humor). I should write a blog post and make special effort to work this in: 

The truth of the matter, however, is that my mother often makes me want to do this:
or this: 

In short, my mother drives me bonkers sometimes.  She gives unsolicited beauty tips; if I had a nickle for every time she has commented on the width of my eyebrows, I wouldn't have to work. She sits still when I'm trying to talk to her roughly 1 out of 10 conversations. She states the obvious.  She will ask me about stuff I've repeatedly told her that I don't want to talk about or upon which I have already decided. She will do what we ask her not to do, even if our reasoning is "that's really stupid and unsafe, Mom." She is worse than many 15 year olds when it comes to having a phone out all the time.

No ma'am, Jackie Turner, no field-of-flowers-Maya-Angelou-quote-filled card for you.

My card would tell you that for all the reasons mentioned above, and a few thousand others, you make me crazy. It would then say...

I know I do the same to you....and basically for the exact same reasons. I do just as many dumb things for the same reason you once put a step ladder in the back of your gator and painted a barn: because we want it done. Now. Without help. I will press issues when I don't feel like you've given me a satisfactory explanation. If you would put your phone down and look up at me for ten seconds, I would critique your eyebrows. 

But there is one more similarity between us that has become increasingly obvious as I've grown older, a personality proclivity that has both forced tough conversations and ultimately made our relationship more honest and more substantial: You and I have come to accept that at least half the time, we are not going to agree with the other's decisions. In fact, we may occasionally think the other is making a gigantic, possibly life-altering mistake. But the thing is, even though we might hoot and holler about it for a little while, saying harsh things reserved primarily for mother/daughter relationships, we acknowledge that it's the other's life to live. We voice our opinion, but ultimately defer.  We understand that loving someone does not mean that you will always like their decisions, or them for that matter.  

Letting someone be who they insist on being is a wonderful gift. For this, Mom, I thank you. 

Oh, and for....
1. Instilling in us the notion that no man should ever control how we cut our hair. 
2. Making conversation in otherwise awkwardly quiet rooms or cars.
3. Raising us in a home where we had a choice of Kool-Aid or milk only and had dinner at the table nearly every night. 
4. Letting me climb in a pickup truck and drive across the country with Dad when I was about eight years old. 
5. Spending your summers skipping rocks with Leigh and me at the ponds and creeks near the house...or at Greenwood Mall with Sbarro pizza and our baby doll strollers in tow. 
6. Still doing Easter baskets and Christmas stockings for all of us. 
7. For offering to pay to have a horse's sheath cleaned even when your daughter tells you, "That's dumb. We're not going to pay someone without trying it first ourselves."; for nevertheless putting on your overalls and work boots when that same daughter pulls in your driveway at 5:15 and asks for gloves. 
8. For being the type of teacher people describe as "their favorite ever." 
9. For making sourdough bread from scratch.
10. Hell, for occasionally being the wind beneath our wings.  


  1. What a wonderfully refreshing story of love between a mother and her daughter. It has made my day!

    1. Thank you so much for saying so:) I love my mother so, so much, but I also like to show the "real" side of things. I have an amazing family, but not one immune to those things that every other family deals with too. Accepting and loving through the petty things is a good foundation for any relationship I think.

  2. I love your mom. Your whole family, really! :)