In the old days, more often then not, my mother and I were at each other’s throats. I challenged her. She threatened me. Just your typical mother-and-daughter lovefest. But lately, since she’s become “grandma,” there’s been a palpable change. These days I seek her approval; a far cry from my early years.
There was the time I rolled in six hours past curfew the night of the junior prom. And, of course, there were the regular spats over my having to attend annoying family functions for such silly reasons as, oh, Thanksgiving, Passover and birthdays. The nerve of her! And I had the uncanny ability to respond with “shut up” to end most conversations.
I often objected to what my mother had to say and swore on many door-slamming occasions that I would, “never raise my children the way she was parenting me.” But that was before I became “mommy” and she became “grandma.”
Grandma is now my voice of reason. Before, she was tediously preachy. Today, I hang on every word. In fact, I find myself parroting her pet phrases like, “That, young man, is unacceptable behavior.”
Don’t get me wrong — my mother and I still have our differences. For example, I’m a sleep schedule fanatic; she subscribes to a more laid back approach.
What’s most perplexing about this new relationship is that I live for my mother’s approval of me as a mom. Does she fault me because my 2-year-old isn’t bottle-weaned? And how does she feel about the lollipop I provide in response to my young son’s early morning demands?
This dramatic relationship turn has caused me to wonder why we, as new mothers, take such emotional stock in what our own mothers think.
I would have never thought that I, of all people, would turn to my mom for everything now. I love watching her be my son’s best pal, and I know that she somehow forgives me for every “shut up” and missed curfew … as only a mother can.
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