On this Mother's Day I'm finding it difficult to push the thought that the older I get the more I look like my mother out of my head. A shorter, rounder version to be sure, and one with my father's skin and eye color, but the facial features are undeniably hers.
Big shoes to fill as my mother was a model in her younger days with an 18 inch waist, smaller boobs, and perfectly arched eyebrows. It seems as if I was born fat. I certainly always had big upper arms and my chest developed early and rapidly surpassed hers. It always disappointed her and I was put on many diets as a child. No matter how much weight I lost I was always going to have my great grandmother on my father's side's body type. When I was in my mid twenties I decided that I was going to have that 18 inch waist if it killed me. I consumed only 250 calories a day and dieted and exercised my way down to 92 pounds. I wore a child's size 14 and was finally able to fit into my mother's black straight legged jeans.
My cup size never changed, though. I still wore a D cup. I looked like a popsicle stick with two cotton balls glued to it. More importantly, I had done all of it for the wrong reasons. I wanted my mother's approval - which I did not get. "Just ten more pounds and you should be there." It was then that I realized I would never be "there" and began eating normally again.
The fault for this little fiasco rests squarely on my shoulders and no one else's. My mother wasn't, and isn't, a monster. She's a smart woman who is a talented musician and artist and went from riches to rags to self-made woman. She just wants things to be exactly as she thinks they should be - even if that's not possible. It is this one personality trait that finally made it necessary for me to establish some boundaries that she finds unacceptable. I'm sorry things have ended up this way, but it's her choice at this point.
So, when I look in the mirror, as I did yesterday on my 51st birthday, I hope that I can retain all of the positive qualities that are my mother and let go of all the ones that don't work so well. But I think, perhaps, this is the struggle that every child goes through.
Thanks for the great cheekbones, Ma, and for every good thing you ever did for me. And Happy Birthday to me!
I promise the next post will be much less maudlin and much more Spashionista-like.