Thursday, May 6, 2010

Let's Pretend We're Moms

My daughter has an active imagination. She's lost in the world of pretend as often as she's present in reality. So much so that frequently she will clarify "for real" when she's talking about something that happened/is going to happen, so that I know that she's not making it up.

We've watched her, with fascination, as she crosses back and forth over the line between the two as easily as most of us blink. While at dinner, watching TV, in the car...one minute you're talking about school, and the next she's waving her hand around saying, "I know, I know, my kids do the same thing," in a tone I can only guess she thinks commiserating moms use. Or she'll swing her hair down into her face, saying "i just can't find the time to get it cut" to her imaginary commiserating friend-who's-also-a-mom.

The theme here is moms. That's her passion. She loves all "mom" things. How many times have I walked outside to find her pushing her little brother around in a stroller and asked her, "whatcha doing?" to have her answer "Well, my son's sick, and so I think I might have to take him to the hospital. Can you give me directions? Oh, and I LOVE your shoes!"

I remember playing with my dolls and playing moms. I guess if I really think about it, it had an allure to me. The "mom" world -- a world of grown-up ladies who drank coffee and had meetings and wore Dr. Scholl's sandals (it was the 70s).

So it should come as no surprise that my own little girl enjoys it. But I really think she enjoys it much more than I ever did. I notice her watching me sometimes, and later I can usually find her in front of a mirror doing the same thing. She talks to her imaginary mom friends with her hands, the way I do. She throws her head back and slaps her thigh the way I do when I laugh. She puts a lot of cream in her coffee, like me. She reads home decorating magazines in the chair, her legs crossed, giving her index finger a little lick each time she turns the pages. She scolds her children for their sassy mouths and for not listening, just like I do. Using the same words, the exact tone and with just the right amount of exasperation in her voice.

I've always thought it a little funny. What a funny little girl she is. But as I write this I'm touched.

Because good or bad, she's emulating me. She's pretending she's me. She's fascinated by ME.

And it hits me what a cycle we little girls live. Generation to generation, our moms are our greatest influences. Our first ambitions. Our nurturers. Our style icons.

As Mother's Day approaches, I realize in writing about my daughter that she's giving me, every single day, the best present a mother could ever ask for.

Happy Mother's Day to all you ladies who are moms, who have moms, who've played moms. You are truly blessed.

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