Coming Home: We gain more than just our looks from our mothers
by Jessie Veeder
In my life, there haven’t been many times someone’s told me that I look like my mother. I’m thinking about that now as I look at my head bobbing, harmonica playing, blonde haired, blue-eyed daughter and think, well, she doesn’t look like she belongs to me.
Yesterday I watched her balance her baby doll on her shoulder while typing on her pretend computer and it was a reminder of how quickly they start to learn from us.
My graceful ballerina mother who once put salsa on her lefse and didn’t know much about horses or guitars.
How self absorbed we become when we’re trying to figure out who we are. I look back on it now and want to take the teenage version of myself aside to tell her, “Girl, the things you don’t understand about your mother are the very qualities that will get you through the toughest parts of being a woman in this world.”
Like the part when you become a mother yourself.
I understand it now. That persistent worry tucked behind my mother’s eyes, the thing that keeps her checking the weather and checking in on us, I get it. And there’s a million little pieces of her that surface in me each day, things like collecting too many black bananas in the fridge for a rainy day baking project, obsessing about the right outfit for the job, or, in the event of surprise company, serving almost anything in a fancy bowl or on a platter to help it pass as an appetizer. Because you should always offer an appetizer.
But it’s more than the life applications that sunk in. My mother’s flexibility, self-awareness and good humor about fitting in and raising daughters in a world that was so much different than the world she knew is something I appreciate more now than ever. It took until I had Edie to finally ask her what it was like to uproot her life in Grand Forks to come out here to live in an isolated part of the country in a little house with two young kids and a party line. After barely surviving a lonely winter as a new mom myself, I suddenly became so aware of how isolated she must have felt.
And she was. But she felt it was the best thing for her kids and so she went about figuring out how she fit without sacrificing the best parts of herself — her preference for salsa on lefse and all.
And I might not have green eyes or her nose, I’ve may not take her advice on always matching my bra with my underwear or making my bed, but I have her slush burger recipe and I have her as an example of how to live with a heart wide open. And I only hope I can do the same for my daughter.
Hope you had a Great Mother’s Day–It appears you did. Keep the stories and pictures coming. I enjoy your posts very much!
Thank you! Mother’s Day was great!
You have a beautiful family-all of you. You express it so well. Happy Mother’s Day!
Thanks for this artcle
Two little kids and a party line” — there’s a SONG THERE! And I hope you write it! Also, slush burgers?!?!?! GOTTA have THAT recipe! WHAT FUN … and also tears of joy, some of sadness and many of memory, always come with your blog posts…..how lovely to be able to read your words.
I should share her slush burger recipe for sure! Good suggestion! Thanks for reading!
Ah, all the feels! thank you for sharing, love!
Your mother had some darn good parenting herself! You are all fortunate.
Yes we are. She’s a great mom!