June 21, 2011

on being a mom...

As most little girls seem to do, I watched my mom a lot when I was young. I memorized all these things that, to me, were the very definition of adulthood, motherhood, being grown-up. I remember thinking that when I was a mom, I wanted to be just like her.

I'd paint my nails light pink and make them click along the counter-top in a way much different than my own tiny, bitten fingernails sounded. I'd wear high heels and beautiful necklaces. I'd get to have a diet soda all to myself whenever I wanted to, the ice causing the glass to be covered in tiny raindrops. I'd know how to brush tangles out of hair without it hurting, would have perfect handwriting and would have a purse filled with things like tic-tacs, tissues, crayons, and band-aids. I would know how to make the perfect sandwich and pack the perfect lunch.

I'd worry about things like the weather, applying enough sunscreen at the beach and whether or not my children finished their vegetables.

I'd mysteriously know the lyrics to songs that came on the radio, singing along in a quiet voice. I would perfect the art of baking pies from scratch and clipping coupons. I'd buy delicious-smelling items from Avon and have the ability to do a french braid without the hair getting hopelessly tangled in my hands. I'd have dozens of lipsticks, perfumes and hairbrushes. I'd drink Folgers coffee every morning and understand what was going on while watching the news. I'd let the car keys dangle from my hand before walking out the door, always enjoying the musical sound they made.

My husband would call me silly nicknames and brush my hair while we watched TV in the evenings. We'd each have our own side of the bed, our own side of the closet, our own dresser—covered in various trinkets.

I'd know just how to make a the sniffles go away. I'd know just how to make a gloomy day brighter. I'd know how to read books in the most perfect, silly voices.

Remembering all these tiny moments (especially the ones that are from the mind of a small child—when the counter-tops were high above me and I could still be picked up for a big hug) makes me wonder what my own daughter is going to remember about me. What things will she notice and what things will she hope to do herself one day? What kind of mom will she see me as? What moments will last as she gets older and memories fade? When she is still small enough to be picked up for a big hug, what will the world look like from her view?

I've always wondered what sort of mom I was going to be. And, even now, it's difficult to really figure out. Even in those first days, I hope I'm able to keep calm and realize that it will all fall together perfectly as the days (months, years) go by.

(And hopefully I'll learn to master the art of the french braid by time she has a sufficient amount of hair. Send help...and hairspray.)

27 comments :

  1. So it may be my hormones, but I definitely just teared up reading this... What a beautiful post!

    It makes me nostalgic for my own childhood, and my own magical, mysterious, french-braiding mother:)

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  2. Beautiful, beautiful post Kerri!!! I truly think you will be an outstanding mother, someone your daughter can turn to for love, advice and a big hug whenever needed. I can see you being calm, silly and the kind of woman all your daughters' friends will want to hang out around. :D

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  3. This is an amazing post. So beautifully written. I can just pictured own mommy memories as you write... I can't wait to hear about the sweet stories you'll retell for us all here on the blog when your daughter is born.

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  4. Oooh Kerri, I can't wait until you're a mom! You're just going to be the best mom ever; I've known that since I first start reading your blog several years ago. That caring, maternal quality really shines through in your writing.

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  5. One of my best memories of my mom is the sound of a nail polish bottle being rolled in her hands---it'd make a clinky noise against her rings and I loved it.

    Kerri, seeing you pregnant is adorable and talking with you last week affirmed what I've always thought: you're going to be a truly amazing mom. I can't wait to meet the babe and to see you shine. I love you so much and it's going to be magical.

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  6. this was just beautiful! made me think of my mom & becoming a mom [again] myself soon :) made me cry! (oh, those darn hormones!) you will be great. your daughter is so very lucky to call you hers. xo

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  7. This is beautiful, made me miss my mom, and made me realize I've had the same thoughts about my mom! I thought she was such a wonderful mom so I always worry I'll never be able to be to my kids what she was to me. It sounds like you have an equally wonderful mom, which I'm pretty sure means YOU will be an amazing, wonderful mom as well :)

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  8. What a beautiful post! You're going to be a wonderful mom!

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  9. I know this is totally not the point of your post...but I have the same worries about french braiding! I have no idea how to do it..and my daughter is 5 months old and I really want to know! She has almost zero hair right now, but call me crazy...I feel horrible that I have no idea how to do it :)

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  10. If I can teach myself to French braid my own hair, you can most certainly learn to do your daughter's. Also, are you sure your mom *perfectly* French braided your hair? Or was that also part of your "kid vision"? ;)

    My point is, your mom was the best in your eyes; and you will be the best in your daughter's.

    Lovely post, thank you for sharing.

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  11. I once told my mom that her nose looked like a strawberry. She was a little upset by it, obviously. I remember being confused why that hurt her feelings, I thought strawberries were pretty and they were my favorite fruit! I meant it as the highest compliment my four year old brain could muster.
    Just a little example on how little girls love their moms, sometimes even for their flaws rather than in spite of them.
    You will be a terrific mom and I'm 100% sure your little lady will adore you.

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  12. You've completely captured the magic in the eyes of a little girl. I loved this post.

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  13. Such a sweet post. I think about those things a lot. You are going to be a great mom.

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  14. Such a sweet love letter to your mom! You're going to be a great mom - you have a great model to take after.

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  15. Just based on the fact that you can vividly remember all these things from your own childhood, shows that you will be an awesome mom. You will be able to see things from her point of view and that I think is the key. She is a lucky little girl and I can tell she is already loved so very much!

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  16. Oh, and for those worried about french braiding, they have great tutorials on youtube. I have just now learned and my daughter is 4. I've lived for the days when I could french braid!

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  17. What a lovely post! It made me think of some of my favourite memories of my mom - seeing her bake, mowing the lawn in a ridiculous huge floppy sun hat, curling our bangs for Sunday school (it was the 80s so I guess that makes it OK??) And also to wonder what things our little mango will remember about me someday. It's crazy to think we'll be moms and a little one is going to be watching our every move. The pressure is on...gotta clean up my act :)

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  18. I don't think you can know what kind of mother you'll be until you actually get there but I'm 100% sure you'll be a great one.
    And I have no idea how to do a french braid. My daughter's hair is growing fast so I really want to learn quite quickly!

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  19. This is such a sweet post and a wonderful tribute to your mother. I have no doubt your daughter will look up to you as much as you look up to yours.

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  20. So sweet. Mother daughter relationships are so special. Your memories of your mom are so precious. Mother hood is a difficult, but AMAZING journey. Big hugs to you!

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  21. This was super sweet :) To even be thinking about these things but you are Awesome Mom status for sure. You're children are going to think you're the best!!!

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  22. this post was amazing....made me bust out laughing and tear up at the end. You are such an amazing person...your children will think you're the greatest :)

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  23. Such beautiful writing, Kerri.

    It's funny to think about all of this, isn't it? It's also kind of funny to me, because we ("we" as in women expecting children at some point in their lives, whether or not we're pregnant) so often think about what kind of mom we'll be, comparing ourselves to the mother figures we had in our own childhood. Often, it's so easy to assume that our moms - like the picture you painted so beautifully here - had it all figured out. But I bet if you'd ask her, she'd tell you it was a work in progress, she was always learning... or something to that effect. It's my belief that the truth is, we, as parents and parents-to-be, never really have it figured out.

    And that's kind of beautiful, too.

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  24. Loved this post. You really have a great way with words!
    And yes, I also have always wanted to know how to french braid. I still don't know how! Never mind that my hair isn't long enough for one. I still need to know!

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  25. This post makes me nostalgic for my own childhood. You are going to be a great mom--not to mention an unimaginably cute mom. ;)

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  26. That's wonderful! It makes me remember how much I looked up to my mom as a child. I mean, I still do look up to her, but when I was a child I truly thought she could do no wrong. She knew just how to make me feel better, she was a great cook, and she loved fun foods like Golden Grahams and Cheetos!

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  27. I wonder too how my son will see me as a mother. You have lovely, detailed memories of yours. I always saw my mother as perfect too--the ideal of beauty and womanhood. I've just stumbled upon your blog, and I can already see that you are kind, fun, and attentive. I'm sure your daughter will cherish those qualities.

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