There’s a substantial amount of boring build up to this story – but bear with me…
Last Wednesday I was having something to eat after work before heading off to class. (Philosophy Part 2 – check me out, all educated and stuff). I decided on some yummy soup with crusty bread. Inside the bag of said yummy bread was a single serving of butter. Since I was not intent on using it I debated whether or not to throw it away. This seemed very wasteful and against the values in which I was raised, so I used the paper the bread was sealed in and wrapped the butter up in it and stashed it in my handbag, you know, for that extremely likely butter emergency that is of course inevitable. (Dum dum duuum) My evening continued, I went to class, spoke to some friends and made my way home. upon arrival my well earned rest and sleep was disturbed by neighbours who felt the need to screech and bang and shout for another hour. That is another story entirely.
On Friday I performed a random handbag rummage to throw away any accumulated junk. I then looked into the side pocket to find that little knob of butter, still faithfully waiting to be placed in the fridge. Thankfully it had not decided to distribute itself amongst other items in my bag. At that moment is struck me harder than ever before that I am unconciously turning into my mother.
This thought has happened upon all of us I’m sure, I’ve thought it before looking at my handwriting sometimes and perhaps in the little things I say, the way I laugh or funny faces I pull. This realisation is traditionally followed by an exaserbated ‘Oh God!’ but this time it was different.
I was raised in a house where we learned the value of things. You earned things, it wasn’t just given to you and nothing was taken for granted. For example, my mom would take the last scrabbly bits of soap that were impossible to use and melt them together to form a new bar of soap. Clever wartime logic which could serve us very well in these times of austerity. I am very grateful to my parents for instilling this in me, that is to say now I am. As a teenager I was one of those bratty ‘nobody understands me’ type, inwardly foot stamping and self absorbed. Back then the very thought of turning into my mother was abhorrent.
Being so far away from my family now has taught me a lot about them as individuals and as parents. Seeing my sister with her daughter has taught me a lot too. Now the thought of turning into my mom is not feared, it’s a cause for celebration. It’s a legacy. I look forward to being the lady who makes her own jam (and beer!) and has a hidden bag of saved used wrapping paper for all ocassions. Most of all I look forward to being the ray of sunshine my mom is to all who meet her.
All this from some unwanted butter. You can tell I’m studying philosophy can’t you…