Time and motherhood definitely play the biggest tricks on you. Just when you think you’re wise enough to have it all under control, a little being comes into your life to let you know that there’s still a whole lot of inner work to be done and lessons to be learned. I truly believe our children are here to teach us about ourselves as much as we are to lead them in life. Any single parenting obstacle I face, I’ve learned to reflect upon who I am at that moment and what I’m going through. In most cases, using the moment as my mirror, helps me realize why my daughter is “acting up” and what I can do to change myself in order to change the underlinings of the situation.
Then there are those not-so-zen or seemingly under control moments — which turn out to, admittedly, be more often than not — where I can hear myself react and say the exact same things my mom used to say and that, well, I don’t necessarily remember as the fondest memories. Can you remember that moment when you realized that as much as you thought your parenting style was so of-the-moment and so far off the way you were raised, you’re still la hija de tú mamá and those dichos are so part of you?
This is one I inherited from my mom:
Right hand index finger pointed in my girl’s direction; left hand on my hip; my whole body slightly leaning towards her I say with a slightly exasperated tone: “Camila, es la última vez que te lo digo y ¡no te lo quiero decir más!”
And there’s the issues of my zoned-out “Mhhm’s.” Camila detests my “Mhhm’s” because she already knows they happen when I’m not really, really, like really hanging on to every little word that comes out of her mouth. She loves words and uses them a lot. I love that about her and her creativity is one to be reckoned with. I don’t want her to stop bursting out and sharing her thoughts and life with me at all, but in some moments my brain can only take so much and it will go on neutral to the “Mhhm” zone — just like my mother did and still does.
I keep discovering more and more simple nuances about myself — like how I purse my lips when I’m focused — that clearly prove that I’m my mother’s daughter. And then I see my little mini-me becoming more like me every day and become aware of the unbreakable spirit that binds us all through generations, countries and backgrounds. One born and raised in El Salvador; the other born in Houston and raised in El Salvador and the U.S. and the third one born in the U.S. with four different heritages in her blood. Yet, our spirit is the same — like mother, like daughter and like nieta — all with a fierce spirit to boot.
That spirit might make us feel like we’re not always “La Mejor Mamá del Mundo,” like this beautiful Hallmark card I got my mom says. I feel lucky that one thing my daughter has not inherited from me is the awkwardness to tell her mom or her abuelas (like she does to her Oma in the picture above created with Hallmark’s Pic n Props) how much she loves her. My girl shouts it out to me with joy (I do also get the reverse when things don’t go her way, in case you were wondering!) whenever she feels the urge: “You’re my best mami ever!”
And here I am, using this post and this Hallmark card to finally tell my mom that she’s “La Mejor Mamá del Mundo” and I’m proud to be turning out just like you. Te quiero mucho, mamá.