At 47, I am beginning to realize that I am becoming like my mother.
Who would have thought?
As a teenager, I watched Momma dig one hole after another to plant geraniums, mums, pansies and the like. Sheíd do a walk-through afterwards, explaining precisely the reason for the position of each plant.
In my mindís eye, as I look back over those years, it occurs to me that Mommaís yard was a blank canvas and landscaping was, in a sense, creating her own Picasso.
Some years later, Momma became fascinated with roses. A few years ago, in deference to her and my grandmother who also loved roses, I planted a couple bushes in my yard.
Itís hard to walk by a snake plant or vine and not remember how my mother cultivated and maintained plants given to her more than 30 years ago.
Through the years, she has lugged one species of plant or others to my home as a gift. Inevitably, Iíll kill it, but she doesnít give up and continues to bring new ones. Like her, I love plants.
Also like Mom, I am fond of collecting water bottles and coffee cups. For us, amassing the collection was unintentional.
For instance, Iíll drift into Rossí or Wal-Mart, and buy a new water bottle simply because I like its design or message. Though after many trips to the gym, Iíve found that I prefer sports bottles as chief design.
Last year my son asked why I liked water bottles so much. I told him something to the effect that I didnít know why, I just do. It wasnít until awhile later, when I opened a cabinet full of water bottles at Momís house, that I made the connection. Iíd inadvertently copied her same tendency.
Additionally, the other day, I walked into a local clothing store and bought two church hats.
To me, this purchase was huge. Except for an occasional summer hat used on beach trips and hats bought to match scarves or coats, buying a church hat has never been on my to-do list.
Again, who would have thought it?
Finally, my mother wore her natural hair from her teenage years in the 60s until the mid-90s. Until 1996, I had never seen her without a short Afro. To see her with relaxed hair was shocking.
A few weeks ago, I did the big chop ó cut off my hair once and for all. There has been pushback sometimes from folks who reject natural hair as unprofessional or unpresentable, and mixed reaction that ranges from puzzlement to approval, but as the child of a woman who wore her hair natural for decades, natural hair is a standard of beauty for me that few women achieve.
For now, Iím not sure when and where the similarities between me and mom will end, but I am sure that if I had to intentionally or unintentionally model myself after anyone, it is her. Sheís been my friend since birth.