Monday, October 3, 2011

"The Look" of Love

I was raised by my  mother.  I learned very early on that there was only so much that the woman could take.  I was an only child too so it made getting away with anything very difficult because there was no one but the dog to blame for things.  My mother had a look.  You could really monitor how far you could go by monitoring her facial expressions.  But when she reached "the look" you had better run and run fast because it was about to hit the fan.  I feared that look.  Back in the day parents disciplined their children.  I discipline my children but not quite to the extreme that I would get.  I got chased around the house with a fly swatter.  I lost the lock to my bedroom door by probably 10 years of age.  Because when I went too far I'd run to my room and lock the door, which made them mad because they would have to find the key to get to me to beat my hind end.  And when you have a big mouth and no sensor like me a beating is pretty much a given. 

Fortunately or unfortunately as the case may be I was given not one but two girls with big ole mouths and no sensor.  Just like me.  While I have tried to perfect the look.  I don't think I have it down like my mother did.  My children do not quake in fear, like I did.  I was always just sure that I would be a good mother if I could just give "the look" and not have to resort to punishment.  I  am not that fortunate.  Plus while I tell my children that if I had talked to my mother like they talk to me, I would have been on the floor so fast I wouldn't even know how I got there.  I would just be looking for my rear.  Because it would be off of my body or it would hurt so bad I'd be sure that I had lost a pound or two.  My kids lose electronics.  My kids have had spankings but when they were much younger and not to the extent that I did.  (Plus two out of three are my size and I'm old and can't wrestle them as well anymore.)  I yell but they tune it out.  Electronics hit them where they live.  You take all of those away and they don't know how to function.

My grandmother says I'm just like her.  When she was in the service she was a medic and worked with what she calls the crazies.  They loved her there because she told it like it was.  This is pretty much how I am too.  I will tell you what I think.  Now if I do and I hurt your feelings I will probably feel bad about it but I won't lose sleep over it.  Mostly because I'm usually pretty sure I'm right.  Which is why I used to get into trouble, hence the fly swatter beatings or the hand if they couldn't find the swatter.  My mother whether she would admit it or not was much like me.  She was never wrong, she was always right.  Two right people does not a happy pair make when they are on opposing sides.  Which most times we were.

While I do not miss the fighting, I miss my mother so much it hurts most of the time.  My mother was wrong of course most of the time, because I was right.  But my mother loved me enough to fight with me.  The woman just refused to listen to reason.  I told her "Mother, you have to quit smoking.  I learned in school that that will kill you."  I was right of course because it did.  Sometimes it's not always good to be right.

My oldest is just like me even though I say she must get it from her father.  If you put bell bottoms on her and feathered her hair and put a comb in her back pocket?  She would be me reincarnated.  It's scary how much alike she and I are.  Well how close she is to me when I was a kid anyway.  I appreciate that I'm still alive so much more now.  I also appreciate how she managed to seemingly come out of the teenage years unscathed so much more now.  I think you fight with the kid that's most like you.  I would give her both kidneys if she needed them.  I'd push her out of the way of oncoming traffic.  I'd do just about anything for this girl.  But we would get along so much more if she learned that I am always right.  I said " Go to youth group with your friend I think you'll like it.  AND I think it would be good for you."  She went to youth group had a great time and gives me a hard time every week and says she doesn't want to go.  Then she goes because I'm mama and what I say goes.  She has a great time and gets mad because I was right.  Yeah.  Go figure.  I wonder if when I'm gone if she will miss fighting with me.

I often wonder what my relationship with my mother would have been like if we didn't fight like we did.  I always wanted her to be my friend.  Maybe she might have been if she were still here.  Maybe not.  Mostly I am glad she was my mom.  It's like what I tell my girls.  God didn't put me here to be your friend.  You already have some of those.  He wanted me to be your mom.  That's my job.  When I am done raising you, then we will be friends.  Until that time, my mission is to love you and guide you to what He has planned for you.  You belong to Him. 

What I do know is that my mother loved me.  Maybe not like I wanted her to, but the best way she knew how.  I think that's all any of us can do really.  Just love each other the best way we know how.  My mother loved me enough to fight with me.  I think that's better than indifference.  Indifference implies a lack of caring.  My mother cared enough to fight to get her point across.  She did. Sometimes being right is not the most important thing.  Sometimes being wrong happens.   Sometimes you fight WITH the ones you love.  Sometimes you fight FOR the ones you love.  Either way you love them the best way you know how. 

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