So This is Love: I Am Just Like You, Mom

I am just like you, Mom….

I call out to my child, ripe into the teenage years, an umpteen number of times. She does not respond. Then I barge into her room. “What???” she quips, with headphones plugged into her ears, the annoyance in her tone is a signal for me to leave. Her piercing gaze reflects the turbulence of the growing up years. She sounds harsh to fiercely guard the conflicting emotions that play in her heart and mind.

Contrary to what she thinks, she needs me now more than she did in the years gone by. So, even if she does not like it, I’m in her room and I stay to make sure she is fine. I am a force that does not budge. ‘It’s my house” I retort smugly, “And I can be wherever I want to be!”

I realize I am just like my mom when it comes to my family

I’m just like you, Mom…

I make up incredulous excuses to be by her side. She will be in college soon and I know I must let her go. I trust she will make the right decisions on her own. Yet I putter around her room, mumble about it being messy, just a pretense to spend a little time with her. To let her know I will be there for her always.

It is just like the time when I was seventeen. “I need some privacy”, I’d plead to you. Yet you would hang around my room. I was naïve, and I thought that meant “Privacy? I am your mother. I am not supposed to give you any!” Though now I understand, all you wanted is for your baby to know she is loved.

I’m just like you, Mom…

My teenage boy steps out to meet friends. “Bye darling,” I casually say, “You are wearing clean underwear, right?” He stops, looks at me, an expression of disdain “MOM, seriously??? I’m not four.
GAWD!” Not looking up from the book I am reading, I remark. “I know that, but I also know you have not done your laundry in a while.” He slams the door shut, but that night I hear the low buzz of the washing machine. Simple, straightforward reminders like ‘Do your laundry’ do not always work.

I’m just like you, Mom…

The children excitedly tell me about their day, about their achievements. I listen intently. I am very proud of them but the first question I always ask is, “Did you eat your lunch today?” Pursed lips they wonder, ‘Does she even care about what I said?’ Of course, I care, more than they will ever know. Though growing up I gave you a lot of grief by merely grazing my food. Then, eating seemed like a waste of time. I had more important things to do. Now I know, the food I’ve cooked nourishes their growing bodies and nurtures their confused souls. What could be more important than that?

I’m just like you, Mom…

My son comes home from tennis with a twisted ankle. I lightly touch the painful spot and say a heartfelt prayer for his healing. He gives me a puzzled look, “That’s not going to help, Mom.” Growing up, every time I came to you with a problem, you always told me to pray. Those days I was wary of believers. I needed more scientific evidence. Now life has taught me that faith does make mountains move. Faith is what I will hold onto when it is time to let my kids go.

I’m just like you, Mom…

I have learned that it is the simple things in life that make a difference. Every time my kids annoy me, I see their flaws are exaggerated versions of mine and it is in those very moments that I see so much of you in me.

I am just like you, Mom…

Related:

Why This Mom Cries When She Sees a School Bus

I’m Not Ready for an Empty Nest, But I Will Be

16 Awesome Gifts for Teens and College Kids

Born and raised in Mumbai, Vidya Murlidhar now resides in Charlotte, NC with her family. Her essays have appeared in Chicken Soup for The Soul, Life Positive, Perfection Pending and Mothers Always Write. She is currently working on a series of children’s illustrated books. Her musings can be found on mommyhooddiary.wordpress.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest as Vidya Murlidhar.

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