Friday, April 16, 2010

just like her

I never planned to turn into my mom. It just didn’t seem like something that would be likely to happen. Don’t get me wrong—I love my mom. I think she is awesome. I just didn’t think I was all that much like her.

We’ve always had some obvious similarities, of course. We look very much alike. We have the same laugh. We have the exact same Myers-Briggs personality type. We both love mint chocolate chip ice cream, laying in the sun, and anthropomorphizing our pets. We prefer our husbands to do the driving.

She was (is!) a wonderful mom to grow up with. I couldn’t have asked for better parents, and I’ve always known that when I “grow up” and have kids of my own, I’ll want to be just like her. I just didn’t know that I already am.

(Sarah, mom, and I- 2007)

It started with the whole gardening thing. My mom LOVES her yard. She LOVES her flowers. I never got it. She would offer to pay my siblings and I to do yardwork (weeding, etc.) and I’d turn her down every time. Yard beautification? Who cares! Cut the grass and call it a day, woman. Whenever someone came to visit (our extended family all lives in Texas, half a country away) the first thing they’d do is take the lonnnng extended walking tour of our yard. “Now these azaleas, you know, they’re the ones that blah blah blah….and now look how the begonias are doing!! Can you even believe it? Oh, and what do you think we should do about these philodendron? Is the spotting on the leaves what I should expect?” And this nonsense would go on for quite possibly two entire cups of coffee, as they walked and talked about flowers, plants, soil, pests, and life. And I never got it. Who CARES?!?! I mean, I see a flower, I think…nice. Lovely. And I move on with my life. These people…my mom…they lived for this stuff. Boooorrrrring. I just knew that when I grew up, I would hire someone to cut my grass and that would be the end of it. No landscaping unless it was like, some maintenance-free shrubs. No nothing. It’s not that I didn’t like flowers…it’s just I didn’t like them enough to be so involved with them.

I never had much of a yard in college or after. When my mom would come visit, she would always bring me a potted indoor plant of some sort which I would inevitably kill within a week. A green thumb I had not. One summer she got me two potted tomatoes that lived on my front porch. Those I managed to keep alive, and I even loved the fact that I could snag some free veggies out of the deal. I decided in my heart that while I still did not love plants, I would make an exception for tomatoes. Those plants paid off.

When we started looking for houses, or thinking about starting to look, I just had this gut feeling that I didn’t want a condo. Something inside of me (even before we got Lola) wanted a yard—a place to call my own. As we looked at more and more houses, the need for “space” became even more desireable—all this, for a girl who has never so much as laid hands on a lawn mower. Who doesn’t know a weed from…well, anything.

As you know, we got our house and the 1.5 acres of yard that came with it. And in one fell swoop, I turned into my mom.

(Mom, I, and Dad- my wedding, 2007)

Don’t come visit me—I promise I will not let you leave until you walk allll over my lawn and look at every single sprouting thing. I will tell you every boring story about how I got my canna lilies from my mom’s yard who got them from my grandmother’s yard in Texas…so I have 3rd generation lilies, and I love it. I want you to look at every fledgling veggie and every half-chopped down blueberry bush. I am a curator and my yard is my museum and I feel like I’m shortchanging you if you don’t look at absolutely everything. Every morning I give my own self a speed-tour of the yard…just to make sure everything’s okay and nothing new is sprouting. I do the same thing when I get home from work. And sometimes I’ll do it again in the evening. I’m obsessed. And I don’t even know why, except to say that I am my mother. I had no say in the matter, the woman raised me and somehow shaped me to be this crazy lady who now talks not only to her pets, but her plants. What a legacy, right?

But on the other hand, it makes me happy. I love my mom. I think she is incredible. And if I am just now seeing a part of her show up in me (the crazy plant lady part), then who knows how else I will grow to be like her in the coming years? I want to get her patience, and I hope I’m as good of a cook as she is, and I really want to develop her self-control for portion controlling her food!

I want to pray for my kids the way I saw her praying for us. I want to love my husband the way she chooses to love hers.

I am my mother. I think I’m a pretty lucky girl.

(My front flower bed- June 2009)


  1. You mom is an incredible woman! She is a great person to be like! and you DO look like her. Must be nice to know that you will be a beautiful middle-aged woman as well!

    I enjoyed the grand tour of your yard, even though everything was mostly sticks the last time I was there.

    I'm glad to see those dead-looking sticks are now fully alive, beautiful plants.

  2. well THAT made me cry a little! I do love me some Jack-Jack! AND I find myself increasingly concerned with my "yard." I have a little rake, some grass seeds to cover bare spots!!! I planted wildflowers on the back hill and marigolds in the pots out back. I sweep and rake and water...I even have a little fence! BUT my happiest thing is my new planters out front that will hold beautiful, happy, yellow gerber daisies as soon as I can get to Lowe's!!!


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