I watched my mom drinking her coffee today. I silently took the time to sit back and watch her – the way she sipped it, turning the cup every now and then to get the coolest bit – the way she hugged the cup to keep her fingers warm and how she blew the steam away which made her glasses fog up. I studied her fingers and her fingernails, I looked at her tiny wrists that led up to her wrinkly elbows and then, subconsciously, found myself comparing them to my own! I was stunned by how similar my fingers were to hers. Every last detail! Her thumb nails  had the same calcium spots as mine, the same deep moon smile where the nail meets the skin, the same ridges and lines you can only see when rolling them against the light. How had I never noticed this before?


From deep within I felt a sudden urge to hug her! I felt sad and lonely and guilty and confused by my sudden emotional, irrational mood change. I felt like a child!


It has taken me a few hours to process this. I’ve been thinking about why I had such a strange reaction to her crinkly little fingers and my inner reflection has been  quite, well, profound.


I spent a lot of my early to teen years rebelling against my mom. I was disobedient, defiant, arrogant and sometimes quite disrespectful. I wasted a lot of time arguing with her and more than once said that I never wanted to be like her. What an angel, eh? Yet since becoming a mom myself, I slowly began to understand the extreme difficulties she had bringing up two daughters in the mid 70’s. My dad worked away a lot, sometimes months at a time, and we lived in a country that was foreign to her. She had no support from friends and family, no cell phone, car or internet in those days. She lived at the top of a tower block with no elevator and she had difficulty learning a new language. She was alone!


My reflection today has been profound because I believed my mom never understood me, always tried to control me and ultimately was nothing like me. The truth? She is everything like me! She worked hard to give her children everything she never had. She gave up so much just trying to make sure my sister and I were settled, grounded and independent women. She forced us to eat vegetables daily, not to annoy us ,but to ensure we were healthy. She dragged us to church, not to ruin our Sunday mornings, but to give us a feeling of comfort and belief that I hold dear to today. She was everything that I love about myself today- a Mom just trying to give her kids the best start to life. She wasn’t trying to hold me back, she was trying to hold my hand and guide me.


So when I see her tonight, I’m going to sit down and talk to her about the old days. Instead of rolling my eyes when she talks about how she understands because she’s been there, done that – I’m going to listen. I’m going to ask how she feels now that she is a Grandma and if she has any advice for me. I’m going to drop the imaginary barrier I have built up over these years and I’m going to give her something back. I’m going to give her my time! I’m going to let her paint my fingernails and see if she notices how exactly the same they are as hers! Although deep down I have feeling that she already knows.


An amazing collection of bright women who somehow manage to work, play, parent and survive and write blog posts all at the same time. We are the BLUNTmoms, always honest, always direct and surprising hilarious.

1 Comment

  1. Crying. Had to send this to my mom as I could have written it myself 🙂

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