It's so funny as you get older, as you become more introspective and are able to see pieces of your parents in your personality, your way of life, how you parent your own children. Sometimes, you're like "OH MY GOD I HAVE TO CHANGE THAT" and others, you think: I totally got that from my Mom.
I see it replicated in the next generation right before my eyes. My daughter not only has my face, but is my personality through and through. But where did MINE come from? Well, primarily I believe my personality traits come from my Dad. Like being a smartass, needing to figure EVERYTHING out (he is in law enforcement, I'm from the emergency room) and being an introvert (but extroverted when social situations call for it. Like being a sheriff).
But what came from Mom? When I really think about it, it's a lot of the things I love about myself (and yes it's good for the soul to love yourself).
My Mom is silly, adventurous, a prankster and is fun.
She and I have SUPER similar backgrounds, from having both dated professional ball players to both of us having both of our kids, a boy and a girl, by c-section; one being after a million hours of labor, one scheduled and easy-peasy. THE SAME.
My Mom and I are both stubborn as HELL, and when we believe we are right, THEN DAMMIT EVERYONE WE ARE RIGHT. My daughter, somewhat unfortunately for me currently, has this trait.
As a result, my Mom and I have given my Dad and my brother quite the show when it comes to butting heads, hanging up and implementing the silent treatment to each other, waiting to see which one caves first. Usually, it's when something related to the Bears or Cubs is in the news, and then everything is alright again because we have to discuss it.
That's another thing. I'm SUPER GLAD my brother didn't show up to ruin my mojo for six years after I was born. As a result, I was taught the magic of sports. I sat with my mom on the floor of our wood-paneled finished basement on the plush blue shag carpet in our pretty Chicago suburb house, breaking the tendrilled ends of fresh green beans into a bowl; Harry Caray's voice lulling us to quiet during a Cubs afternoon game on WGN. The Chicago Bears were (and are) a religion to us, and when we moved to Arizona, those sporting events kept us connected to who we really were: Arizonans by choice, Chicagoans by blood. Forever.
I have memories of my Mom taking my friends and I to toilet paper other friend's houses. Mom taught me the hallowed holiday of April Fools Day and a tradition of dastardly pranks on Dad commenced when I was young--and it continues on today. Just this year, Mom was in on my Dad prank--to the extent that she was going to let him go ahead and cancel his credit card when he thought it had been hacked--just to save the joke.
I love to have fun, I try not to take life in general too seriously. I'm strong in the face of adversity, I don't become overly afraid when faced with medical decisions and scary situations. Just last year, when we sat at the bedside while my beloved aunt and my Mom's only sister took her last breaths and I monitored it all, later, my Mom said "The way you took over and were so strong...." (probably the greatest compliment I've received from her--it made me cry), I couldn't help but think, "but I got that part from YOU".
My Mom has white-water rafted, ridden in a hot-air balloon, driven a jet-ski, and badly wants to sky dive. She loves music (so do I), cleans the house with it blasting (so do I) and loves to be scared. Like when we nearly got murdered on the Queen Mary (that's the next post). So do I.
We believe that my aunt and my grandparents have visited us since they passed away. I think my Dad and brother think we're crazy for that.
BUT THEY HAVEN'T SEEN THEM, HAVE THEY? We have. So whatever.
Mom and I will judge the hell out of people who harm us. Or who suck. And we will talk about them. You won't make us look stupid and we are cool until someone hurts our family, then we are no-holds-barred, gloves off, vaseline on, going to knock your teeth into your pancreas kind of gals. And we personally know and love the AR-15.
My daughter takes no crap, is fun and silly and adventurous in her beautiful little girl way.
She gets it from her Mom.
I have parasailed, jet-skied, zip lined, pulled pranks on everyone I like, love music, love to dance, love to think that my passed-on family is right here with me. I'm a working Mom, a strict Mom, a fun Mom and a good Mom.
And I got it all from MY MOM.
As I write this, I have just share my appreciation for the BEST Mother's Day EVER, which is now winding down.
First, my brother and I met Mom and Dad at Giordano's last night and tore up some Chicago deep-dish, talking sports and true crime and how pretty Christy Ruiz and her daughter are (Hi, Christy!)
It was a good time capped off with my Dad flipping us off from the passenger seat as they drove away. No, really, this is a sign of endearment in this family.
This morning, my husband dropped my stepkids off to be with their mother figure, and the perfect Mother's Day began. I made my coffee AND a mimosa, put on Fixer Upper and lounged on my chaise in our room. Meanwhile, my kids took initiative and made me pancakes (THAT WERE PERFECTION, MIND YOU, because yeah, their Mom has taught them both to cook). My daughter delivered them and we had rainbow sprinkle pancakes in our pajamas on a quiet morning.
Afterwards, the Cubs came on, we lounged and watched, and then my husband and I decided a nap was in order. Dozing while baseball is on in the background is pretty much my favorite thing.
After nap time, my kids were out playing in the pool, so I decided to join them. I poured some Rose in the blender with ice, went out, climbed into a puffy plastic swan and....floated with my wine slushy. Heaven. HEAVEN, Y'ALL.
A while later, I was playing Marco Polo and paddleball with them and laughing outloud with these amazing little people.
After going back inside, my husband and kids gave me their thoughtful gifts (distressed overalls I wanted--he went through a lot to find them! He is AMAZING--, pictures of the kids and written love notes) and then we went out for Mexican food to our favorite little spot. We left there and went for Boba tea smoothies and hung out in the tea shop. Coming home, we put on The Office and put a checkmark on the day.
It has been perfection. My husband spent so long trying to make another family happy for years, and still sometimes he's amazed at the simplicity of being married to me--so he says-- (and the non-neediness of my kidlets). But hey, it's all because they get it from their Mom. Right?
Happy Mother's Day, friends!