Like Mother, Like DaughterSometimes it is not what you say, but how you say it. Perhaps it is the tone of your voice, or maybe even the inflection. As you redirect or reprimand your own child, you are suddenly struck by the fact that you sound just like her.
In a flash you are transported back to your own childhood. Perhaps you remember the annoyance and frustration you felt in those moments. Maybe you even remember vowing that when you grew up you would never talk to your child that way.
When you offered her protest or dissent, she responded with the ole 'wait until you have kids.' Suddenly you are brought back to the present, and here you are, sounding just like her. In some ways it is unbelievable, but honestly not really.
After all, you turned out okay. Back then you thought she could never possibly understand how you were thinking or feeling in those moments. It seems clear that your own child is having similar thoughts right now. You wish you could explain the truth behind your words.
You want to communicate to her that you care more than she can imagine. You know however, that in time she will have that revelation, just as it is happening to you right now.
All at once you begin to understand more clearly some of the comments or concerns that she has related to you over the years. While in the past you may have questioned her motives, in this moment of clarity, the truth shines through.
You are her world. While at times what she said or even done may have felt hurtful or perhaps even cruel, her intent has always been pure. It has always been all about you. There is no comparison to the love a mother has for her child. Having stepped into the role yourself you now so clearly understand. You realize however, that it will probably be many years before your own child has a similar revelation.
Your mother has been the ultimate teacher regarding life, love, and perhaps even loss. At times you may have plugged up your ears and closed your eyes because you didn't want to acknowledge that she spoke the truth, or at least her version it.
That is not to say she was always right or even just. You understand, however, that regardless it was never about what she wanted for herself, but in reality what she hoped and dreamed for you.
If you are lucky, this moment of enlightenment will come sooner rather than later. This will give you time to give back the love and support she has always offered to you, even at times when you did not agree how she went about things.
You now know it was the motivation behind her actions that really mattered. Although they may have been with an 'old school' mind set you are quick to forgive the actions because you now have insight into the intent. At this moment you may in fact commit yourself to taking a step back with your own child. You may promise yourself you will try to withhold judgment and use more perspective taking.
In the end no matter what you decide, you know one thing is true, you are your mother's daughter, and that is something about which you are proud. You only hope you can raise your own daughter as well as she raised you.
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