“Now, if we all take just fifteen minutes to pick up, the house will be clean.”
All four of us kids rolled our eyes and pulled nagging faces behind Mom’s back as she spoke the exact same phrase for, what we were sure, was the millionth time.
“When I grow up, I am never going to make my kids clean.” I grumbled to my sister as we picked up the scattered toys in the living room. “It’s like we are her slaves or something, we have to do all the work.”
Mom glanced up from her dusting with a slight grin on her face, “Is that so? You just wait girls; your day will come when you are just like me.”
“Ha!” I thought, “Never gonna happen.”
Later that week, another all too familiar phase could be heard resounding from the kitchen. “Kiiiids, it’s time for supper, wash your hands, and don’t forget to use soap.”
I looked over to my brother who was mouthing the words in jest as my mother, once again, recited the exact phrase she bellowed each night before supper.
As I scrubbed my hand, I declared to my siblings, “I’ll tell you what, when I grow up, I am not even going to make my kids wash their hands…ever!”
The final straw came that following week at bed time.
“Now kids, how many times do I have to tell you to keep your rooms clean? This bedroom is a pigsty! You will not be going be going anywhere tomorrow until your bedrooms are spotless!”
I was stewing with anger as my mom pulled our bedroom door shut.
“All I know is when I have kids; things are going to be a lot different. I will be nothing like mom.” I raged to my sister. “She is so unfair, makes us work so hard, and the nagging, oh my! I will be nothing like her that is for sure!”
********** ******************** ******** ********** *****
Fast forward fifteen (or so) years:
“…Oh, I know I am really looking forward to getting together too.” I gabbed on the phone with my sister. “I think Cam can do some yard work for you, after he cleans his own room of course; that room of his is always a pigsty….Oh, sorry hold on a sec.”
As I covered the mouthpiece of my phone to holler for one of the kids attention, I realized I was about to holler exactly like…could it be? I put my hand over my mouth in disbelief and slight horror.
“Hey Shelly, I gotta go, I’ll talk to you about this tomorrow.” As I hung up with my sister, I was still in shock. Could I be turning into my mother? When did this happen? How did this happen? I was in utter disbelief.
Later that same week, it happened again. I caught myself saying the unthinkable. I don’t even care to mention it but it began with: “Now, if we all take just fifteen minutes….”
The next day confirmed my suspicions once and for all. I was walking through a craft store when I spotted a pretty, lacy, special looking, pillow. I smirked as I read the words embroidered so beautifully on the pillow:
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am my Mother after all.”
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