12 May I’m Turning into My Mother
I’m turning into my mother — and I’m absolutely delighted. While sharing physical traits with a parent is an unavoidable trick of genetics, growing into the nuances of a parent’s personality is the product of consistent exposure.
I didn’t know I was turning into my mother. Naturally, I’ve always looked like her — from her dark hair to her deep dimples, nearly all of her features make an appearance on my own face. However, she often compared me to my father throughout my adolescence, describing my reserved demeanor and uncommon sense of humour as relics of his personality.
Through a series of events in the last year, it has come to my attention that she may have been wrong in her assessment, as she herself is an underappreciated source for the charm and quirks composing my identity.
My discovery started when I saw singer Nina Nesbitt perform in Toronto with my cousin. After the show, we joined the queue of people waiting to meet her. We exchanged initial greetings by the stage, before I quickly directed the conversation towards a more pertinent topic of conversation — Scotland. As Nina is from Edinburgh, it seemed, to me, like the perfect opportunity to mention that my cousin would be relocating to the Scottish city in the fall. My intuition was correct — in a few short minutes, she offered encouragement and recommended the best of everything in Edinburgh.
As I followed my cousin out of the venue, she turned around, and said the key words that prompted months of self-reflection: “Gosh, you’re turning into your mother!”
On the sidewalk of Queen St W, I stopped dead in my tracks — was I actually turning into my mother?
Throughout my entire life, I’d believed my identity to be the spitting image of my father’s, but it suddenly seemed the key behaviours and qualities I demonstrated were those of my mother. For example, while perusing the aisles in Novel Idea on Princess St. in Kingston, I overheard another customer asking the store clerk about the location of a certain cookbook. Without thinking, I grabbed it off the shelf in front of me and brought it over to the cash register for them, inserting myself into their conversation.
My mother would absolutely help a stranger without thinking, before discovering their entire life story while in line at the cash.
As if to drive home the truth of this realization, I took a break in the midst of writing this article to go for a dental appointment, and received a maternal comparison before I’d even left the house. Standing on the end of the driveway, my neighbour squinted at me in silence from across the street, until she finally shouted, “Oh Claudia, I thought you were your mother! You’re so much alike!”
I’m turning into my mother — I’m developing laugh lines, a love for Lightly Salted Lay’s potato chips, and a habit of talking to strangers in public.
In childhood, the comparison held little meaning, and in years of teenage angst, it felt unwarranted. Now, it’s an absolute honour.
I shadowed my mother every day until I moved away for university — of course she’s the basis of everything that makes me who I am. It’s unbelievable that I only made this realization in the last year.
Every time someone marvels at our similarity, I thank them profusely. To be told I’m turning into my mother is the highest compliment I could receive.