I just got home from spending two weeks with my Mother in Ohio and I was, let’s just say, extremely surprised at the similar traits that have come to light as I get older. There are some major differences. If she sees a small branch from a tree laying in the front yard it will make her crazy if she can’t run out and pick it up immediately. God forbid if it’s raining and she has to wait until the storm abates to retrieve said limb. Imagine an hours’ worth of, “I wish I could get out there and get that branch,” as the storm rages. Me, I call it yard art and move on. Also I love autumn leaves in the yard. The red, yellow and orange foliage delicately wafting to the ground giving us a carpet of brilliance second only to Joseph’s coat. I use to wait until the last minute to sweep them away. But not Mom, she starts mowing them up with the first dropping and doesn’t stop until the last leaf is bagged and sent off to the city municipality where they will mulch it up to use in the parks.
There are other differences as well. I’m a night person. I love the night life I love to boogie…okay maybe not boogie, but I do love the quiet that comes after the sun has set and the young ones are all tucked into bed. When we were first married I would go to bed with my husband, wait until I heard the gentle breathing of sleep coming from his side of the bed and get up. I considered myself the late night marauder. I often would clean the house as there were no little ones under foot to shoo away from my necessary chores. Sometimes I would just get a book and read. It was my special quiet time. But my mother is inflicted with that disease I don’t understand, that of being a morning person. I have never understood this disorder. Getting up before the sun rises is just too far out of my range of understanding. When I visit I’m up late writing or reading while she sleeps. In the morning she’s usually had her coffee and run her daily errands before I pop my head out for coffee around eight.
But on this visit I noticed that when someone would ask us a question we would answer at the same time and more than once we answered the same way. Things that annoyed me seemed to annoy her. The similar mannerisms, the speech pattern, it was evident throughout the whole visit. I remembered someone saying, “You look just like your Mother but you act just like your Father.” Dad was the funny one, the one who always had a good time. But Mom is up for anything. “Want to drive to Amish country?” She’s in the car. “Want to do a tour of gardens in the village?” “When and where?” We’ve become friends looking for the next adventure. And really isn’t that what life is all about?