Not (Always) the Mother My Mother Raised Me To Be

My mother and I have what I’m given to believe an unusually good, easy relationship. I accepted a few years ago that in her eyes I will always be about 17, and decided I rather like that: When I’m staring in the mirror at my crows feet, she still sees me as young.

As a mother, I generally make the same parenting choices my momma did. We have similar house rules, and most of my scripts are hers…verbatim:

“Shut the screen door. You’re letting in flies.”
“One cuts and the other chooses.”
“Life isn’t fair.”

But I have a whole host of rules and guidelines my mother never addressed.

I, for example, get to explain to my teen sons that “sexting” with girls can lead to jail time. My mother never mentioned sexting to us.

Unlike my mother, I intentionally teach my kids to lie. If someone online starts asking personal questions, they’re to say that they’re 45-year-old cops who live in Texas with a posse of constipated Rangers. My mother didn’t know what “online” meant when I was coming up.

My kids know they can’t pierce or tattoo until they’re of legal age. In my childhood home and community, only ex-military and ex-cons had ink. And the only body part with added holes was the ear (although some of us had two, or even three earrings in one ear!)

I had nine planets in my solar system. My mother’s grandsons have had one of their planets wrenched from their precious little hands.

What about you? What do you do differently from them what raised you up?