I See Her in My Bathroom Mirror

Often I’ll catch a glimpse of her in the reflection, on the patio door, as I walk up the stairs. When a friend tells me a funny story, her laughter explodes from my lips. It’s her. It can’t be me. Why do I see my mother when I look in my bathroom mirror?

This is not a bad thing. My mother is an amazing woman. I’ll be lucky if I turn out like her. It’s just so strange to watch the transformation take place. I am turning into her.

Even things that used to bother me about her, I now see materializing in me. Like the way she’d lick her hand and wipe the ketchup off my cheek……..It’s almost an out of body experience that I can’t control. I wet my fingers in my mouth, and watch as my arm reaches toward Weston’s face…(NOOOO! I scream in my mind, remembering the horror).. I wipe off the ketchup as he squirms and squeals NOOO! He yells. I say, “I’m sorry”, but really I’m not.

When we go to a restaurant, my mother is NEVER satisfied with the table where the hostess seats us. I thought I would never be so picky…but I’ve heard her words come out of my mouth, more than once, in the past few years, “How about that booth over by the window instead, mkay?”

Oh, and the ordering at the restaurant…she orders things that are NOT ON THE MENU. Seriously! (who does she think she is?) She’ll say, “I’d like the veggie tacos.” The server says, “We don’t have veggie tacos.” Mom says, “Oh just tell the chef, he’ll make me some.” (amazingly, he does!) …..I ’ve actually even ordered the veggie tacos….WHAT IS HAPPENING??!!?

It’s a good thing, my husband Nate likes my mom.

The other day I stood in my kitchen and watched as my mother’s hands extended from my arms and slammed the pickle jar, upside down, onto the counter to loosen the lid. I don’t know how many times I watched her do this, when I was kid, thinking….she’s going to break the jar, it’s going to be a huge mess! But the jar never breaks, for her, or for me.

Each day when Weston gets off the bus, I ask him too many questions. I can hear the pathetic desperation in my voice, (that matches hers) when I request another detail about his day. I recognize this, I heard it so many times as a child when I came home from a long day at school.

I see her legs climb the stairs in my house each night when I go up to bed.

It’s a strange feeling to become your mother. My feet now look EXACTLY like hers did when I was Weston’s age. I remember staring at her feet when we sat on the dock at our old house.
I take comfort in knowing that someday when she’s gone, I’ll still have her……in these daily aspects and details. I’ll still have her when I brush my teeth in the same vigorous no-time-to-waste manner. She’ll live on in the way I care for my kids….the same way she cared for me. How I ask them too many questions, how I desperately want to know them, entirely. And maybe (if we’re lucky)……. She’ll live on longer still, through them, in their daily details, in the people they become. (I can already see Wes has her previously unmatched social wit.)

When I am old. When my hair is silver, like hers is now, and she is no longer on this earth, I’ll see her, in that reflection, on the side of the car. I’ll smile,…and sometimes, I’ll even wave, because I’ll know……. she’s still here with me…. through me.

I See Her in My Bathroom Mirror

warmchocmilk

Lauderdale, United States

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