We owe a lot to our mothers. From the first breath we take (and even before that) to every milestone that follows, they stay by our sides. Through thick and thin, they shower us with their unconditional love. Yet, every daughter fears turning into her mother (which honestly, is undeniable). And at some point in time, she will become her mother.
So, of course, I had to be standing in the middle of IKEA when I realized I was turning into my mother.
I’ve always been surrounded by strong women my entire life. My mother, grandmothers and aunt influenced me more than anyone I’ve ever met. Everything I do remains a reflection of them. From the way I brush my hair to the way I fold my laundry— it sounds ludicrous. Even my sister and cousin mirror them in the same manner I once did and still do.
Sometimes, I think of all the mothers in history, literature and even mythology. From Hecuba’s tears for her fallen sons and daughters, to Clytemnestra’s murderous act of revenge in the name of her daughter mothers will go to extremes for their children. Even Molly Weasley avenged the almost death of her daughter in a very badass duel. Mothers really would —and do— everything for their children.
And I’ve witnessed my mother do it firsthand.
From countless early mornings, driving my sister and I to school, tennis lessons, art lessons, horseback riding lessons, even to staying up late mulling over algebra problems and last-minute projects my mother does it all. I could go on for another two pages. My sister and I, like most children, never really noticed all the stress and exhaustion we put her through. I can only imagine how she might’ve felt now that I am older. But I have an inkling as to how one turns into their mother.
My aunt needed us to buy my little cousin a new bed and she happened to be out of the country. So my mother, sister, grandfather and I set out to IKEA. We split up with my mother and grandfather going to check out the bed frames, while my sister and I wandered around as one does in IKEA. I always loved decorating my bedroom and helping out with holiday decorations, so I, of course, found myself in those little IKEA room set-ups.
While inspecting a dishwasher, I felt eyes on me.
My sister, in all her sixteen-year glory, stood to my side with an almost comical look. Armed with a frying pan, she laughed. “What are you doing?” When I replied with a confused explanation, she laughed even harder. “You’re literally turning into mama.” And then she walked away.
I don’t know how long I stood next to that fake kitchen set up in IKEA, but it probably lasted less than two minutes. I transformed into my mother. A dishwasher piqued my interest. A dishwasher, of all things. A sign signaling the end of my childhood and the beginning of my adulthood.
I spent the rest of the day in a haze, wondering how fast time could pass.
It felt like just yesterday I had been busy riding bikes down the street with my cousins, and now I inspected dishwashers. I mentioned the story to my mom and she laughed. A normal part of life, she said. “You’ll get used to it.”
Maybe I will get used to it, but I know it won’t be anywhere in the near future. Like most of us, a part me wants to desperately cling to that childhood innocence. But the maturing adult wants to spend most of her time scrolling through IKEA’s webpage and looking at pretty dishes in HomeGoods. I’ve already noticed that my taste in kitchenware remains vastly different from my mother’s— but more in line with my grandmother’s. Whatever happens, I’m happy to wish my mama another Mother’s Day with her favorite bouquet of yellow flowers.