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We Look Like Our Mothers

February 7, 2013

It all started with a picture I took of myself on a cell phone. I was planning on sending one of those sexy ‘sleepy’ photos to my fiancé. I had just woken up in the middle of the night and was out of town on a work trip and wanted him to know I missed him. I snapped the photo. The flash was too bright at 2am. I squinted and looked at the result. Dear Lord – that looks just like my Mother (so NOT sexy!) I will not be sending THAT photo anywhere. Delete!!!

In the weeks, months and couple of years that have followed since that dreadful moment, I have observed that me and all my friends as well are all seriously looking like our Mom’s. It is during dinner with one of my best friends that I have known since we were 8 years old that this dawns on me yet again. And, I think how beautiful my friend is and realize that I never even noticed that she looked like her Mom let alone that she looks JUST like her Mom. I also realize that I never noticed how beautiful her Mom was. I never imagined our Mother’s to be so ‘young’ when they were our age. They were such “Mom’s” already. They lived in dinner time and bath time and ‘finish your homework’ and fold the laundry land. I occasionally saw them go out with their husbands, but never with their girlfriends and they seemed to put their children in front of everything in their life. Of course, the kids at the time being us, we didn’t complain, but it’s bizarre to me now to realize how little my Mom did for herself.

Through the blessing of Facebook, I see regular updates on my friends and their lives. Pictures of family Christmases and summer vacations. Sometimes, I do a double take wondering if their Mom came along on the trip. Oh, no? That’s just my best friend from grade school who looks just like a 35 year old woman with three kids? A little rounding of the face, graying of our 30-something hair, a little extra ‘chin’ and crow’s feet and well, there you have it! Your Mom was once beautiful and you are now just as beautiful as she with the lines and wear and tear one earns in life if we’re lucky enough to make it to the time in life where age starts to show up on your face, grace your skin, color your hair.

I am so amazed that this all happened so quickly – those years from 18 to 35 went so fast! It’s like I blinked for a moment too long or I slept through it or something. One minute, I was 23 reading poetry at a filthy downtown bar, drinking captain and cokes and the next minute I was pregnant with my second child enjoying a trip to the store by myself and calling it ‘an afternoon out.’

It has taken a couple of years, but today, there is nothing in me that regrets a single moment, a single wrinkle, a single grey hair or a single image of me that looks like my Mother. Over the years, I have lost friends to too many tragedies, feared my own potential ‘ending’ with enough seriousness to strongly consider that reality and seen young lives cut short too many times to be anything other than grateful that I have AT LEAST made it to that stage where I look like my Mom. And I realize that I look like the young version of her. I hope, with fingers crossed, holding breath and making pinky swears that me and all my childhood friends have the chance to see each other looking like the older versions of our Mothers someday. And, to have the wisdom that our Mom’s all have these days. I’m sure it will feel like we just blinked.

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