You ask Brian about his childhood and Oreos and he'll instantly tell the story about the time that his mother wouldn't let him have a cookie. He asked nice and felt that he was a good kid. But, she said no. No reason, just no. This doesn't make her a horrible mother. In fact, she was a good mom. She took care of him. She made him birthday cakes, fed him, and, currently, has apples ready when his crazy, cow-obsessed wife comes to visit so I can feed the cows. :)
|Dingy the cow is the best. :)|
But, among all the good things that he remembers, he remembers not getting an Oreo, too. Hmm, maybe that's why he feels compelled to eat so many cookies now! Or maybe he just likes them. ;)
Anyway, it's a lot of pressure.
And. sometimes it feels so heavy and so real.
Recently, I started telling Lizzie, "When I was a little girl...." stories. I wasn't sure whether she would be interested, but I told them, anyway. Because I remember when my mom told me stories. And, I remember asking her questions. And, trying to visualize her as a little girl. It fascinated me.
When relating to my daughter, I often think about my mom and how she related to me. And, I remember feeling loved. Really, really loved. (By both of my parents.)
So, I started telling Lizzie these stories. I've told the boys, too. But, Lizzie is the most interested. She is the one who stops and listens. Maybe it's a girl thing. And, for a little girl who spends a great deal of her awake moments talking, she is also really good at listening. (When she wants to...haha).
I tell her what I played with. I tell her what I liked and what I didn't like. I always start my stories with "when I was a little girl..." This is not for any special purpose except that I like symmetry in my speech and my posts. ;)
I tell her that I dressed up my dogs. I tell her that I loved holding lizards. I tell her about my dog, Austin, who meowed like a cat. I tell her that my friends and I rode our bikes down a hill (just like she was doing).
One of the stories that she found most amusing was one about her grandma.
Whenever my mom tried to rest her eyes, I naturally became suddenly bored. My mom laying down on the couch was the most inviting thing ever. I'd show up with my Barbies or dolls or something that would involve her being forced to be awake.
I'd say, "Mommy, will you play with me??"
Through closed eyes, she would say, "Ok, I'll be the baby taking a nap and you be the mommy cleaning the house."
I was never on board with this suggestion and couldn't understand how she could possibly be so tired. (I sure do understand now, though!!)
It makes me smile to remember that. And, that's what I want so badly to create for Lizzie. For the record, Mom, I also remember all of those moments when you played with me. There were a lot of those, too. :)
The other day, I was cooking dinner. Lizzie had acquired a balloon that day and came into the kitchen with it.
"Mommy, when you were a little girl, did you play with balloons?"
That was when I knew for sure that she was enjoying the stories.
"Yes. I loved playing with balloons! I would hit it up in the air and try not to let it touch the ground. Or it would get eaten by crocodiles."
Then I realized that I was mixing up memories. Really, if it hit the ground, it would explode. But, I couldn't let myself touch the ground or the crocodiles would get me.
I started to clarify my memory, but then realized that it might lead to Lizzie climbing on all of the furniture to avoid the floor. So, I kept my mouth shut.
Anyway, she smiled at my partially accurate story and walked away, hitting her balloon in the air. Just like I told her that I did.
As she was leaving the kitchen, she said to herself, "Watch out for the crocodiles!" and gave the balloon a good hit up and safely away from the floor.
It just felt so heavy. She wanted to be like me. Because I am her mom! I am shaping her with my actions and my stories. And, she will one day do the same with her children. The cycle will continue and it will be bigger than me.
It makes me happy to think that she will take a bit of me with her. Who knows if it'll be the balloon story, the mom always fell asleep in the recliner story, or the mom could never seem to get me in matching socks story. But, I'll be there. :)
|Spidey knows what I'm talking about... ;)|