Being redheaded just like my mom, and outspoken just like my mom, and creative...just. like. my. mom, I always hated being compared to her. People always thought they were being complimentary when they'd tell me, "You're just like your mom!" But to a rebellious teenager who wanted to be recognized for her own accomplishments, sense of style, and attitude, they were a death knell. Now that I'm older and a mother myself, I look back on those years and understand why people would say it: they genuinely admired and loved my mom for who she was, and they thought that I was shaping up to be just as wonderful as they thought she was (which BTW, she's still pretty awesome...even if she does still drive me batty sometimes!)
My mom is a character. She's always thinking outside the box and always bucking trends and traditions. She dances to her own tune. So while most moms were content to purchase a box of Scooby Doo valentines for their child to deliver to all of their class chums on Valentine's Day, my mom pooh poohed that idea and would instead stay up all night (because nothing is as motivating as a looming deadline) and sew stuffed hearts for each of my classmates. And my brother Philip's. And my brother David's. And if that wasn't impressive enough, she would use puff paint to write each and every kid's name on that darn things. We're talking about 90 hearts. IN ONE NIGHT. I told you she was awesome!
Well, I may not have a sewing machine anymore, but I have my very own KitchenAid stand mixer and one helluva recipe for sugar cookies. At Christmas I made cookie pops (cookies on a stick) for my daughter's class Christmas party and they were so wildly popular that I decided to make them again for Valentine's Day. In fact, our day care provider asked if I could make a couple extra for any parents that attended the party! And just like my mom, I found myself working on them the night before they were due. What can I say? The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree sometimes.
Sybilla's class was so excited about their cookie pops. Mary Ann told me when I picked up Sybilla that she told the kids they could have ONE treat from their boxes, and when they saw the cookie pops, that was it. They didn't want anything else (at least until the cookie pop was consumed, lol) and I just about burst with pride upon hearing that. There's nothing wrong with valentines that come from a box, but sometimes it's worth it to put a little extra effort in the mix. These things are what memories are made of. My daughter and her friends may not be old enough to remember them, but make something a tradition, make your mark on the world and that's what will happen. In high school I had plenty of classmates who remembered the stuff hearts my mom made and some of them even still had them!
So being just like your mom isn't always such a bad thing. My mom is known for her generous spirit, her sense of humor, her love of really bad sci fi/fantasy movies, her creativity, for thinking outside the box, and her disdain for being a follower. If I had to be just like my mom, those aren't bad things to be known for.
Except maybe the bad movies bit...
PS And just because I think it's a funny picture...here is a picture of Sybilla and her"boyfriend" Jack...
Hey! I thought I was your boyfriend!