It’s not until you become a mother that you fully appreciate your own mom. That’s certainly been the case for me. Franny, aka Franny Lams, aka Lambo, aka Mom/Mommy/Ma/Mother is a prominent figure in my life. She’s the big cheese, the boss, a larger-than-life tour de force. She’s always been my biggest cheerleader, my strongest advocate, the president of my fan club and my ride-or-die. I would not have survived my first year of motherhood without her guidance, support and love. So, as any annoying daughter would do, I asked her to talk about me and gave her less than 24 hours to come up with something meaningful. Here’s how it went down…
Tuesday, 9:01 PM
Tuesday, 9:04 PM
Phone call to my mom
Me: Mom, I sent you an email did you see it? Why haven’t you answered yet?
Mom/Fran: You sent me an email? I’m doing my crossword, I have priorities. Let me look and I’ll call you back.
Tuesday, 9:07 PM
Tuesday, 9:10 PM
Phone call to my mom
Me: Mom, I’m going to email you the questions now.
Mom: Wait, so you’re going to pawn off your blog post this week to me?
Wednesday, 9:00 AM
Calls mom x 2. No answer.
Wednesday, 9:01 AM
Calls mom’s cellphone x 3. No answer.
Wednesday, 9:02 AM
Facetimes mom x 2. No answer.
Wednesday, 9:03 AM
Mom sees my missed calls and panics. Calls me three times in a row. I ignore her until 12pm. Aren’t daughters wonderful?
Here are the questions I sent my mom about me. Get to know me through my mother’s eyes. Her answers may be a little bias 🙂
Q: When I was little, what did you think I was going to be when I grew up?
I thought you would be an actress! You were a natural performer and you loved attention from an admiring audience. Some things never change!
Q: Do you think I have more of your good qualities or bad qualities?
I think you have many of my good qualities – perfectionism, creativity, intellect, sense of adventure, empathy (shall I continue?) – and only one of my bad qualities – nail biting!
Q: What is the funniest thing I ever said or did as a kid?
Picture a 2-year old Jen, her hands on her hips and feet planted firmly apart, with a steely defiance as she locks eyes with me and proclaims:” I am the boss of me.” Didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Q: What was the most annoying thing I did as a baby?
You hummed when you ate: a low and not-so-melodic hum to indicate your approval of food. Annoying, but also a good indicator.
Q: What were my very first words?
I wished it had been Mamma or Dada, but it was “Ju”, which was short for “juice”, and you demanded this loudly, usually in public places.
Q: What’s your all-time favorite picture of me?
Actually, it is a picture of you and your brother (yes, HE is in it), mugging for the camera during a photo session at Sears when you were 3 and he was about a year and a half. Both of you are laughing and, for a moment, seem to like each other (Mom award for diplomacy here, svp).
Q: What is your very first memory of me?
Easy peasy: you were screaming only seconds after you were born, so the nurse lay you down beside me and you instantly quietened when I said, “Hello, there sweetie, did you have a good trip?” You opened your eyes and fixed your bright blue (bloodshot) eyes on me as you saw me for the first time. We just stared at each other; it was love at first sight (for me, at least!)
Q: What made me cry the most when I was little?
You thought it was most unfair when we went to ToyRUs to buy a birthday prezzie for one of your friends and you did not also get a gift.
Q: What made me laugh the most when I was little?
Fraggle Rock, a muppets-type TV show in the 1980s, made you laugh a lot. It also scared the beejeezus out of you!
Q: What was the nicest thing I ever said to you?
Since you became a mom yourself, you said you now understand various things I experienced as a new mom, including how intensely and instantly you could love your child and would do anything to protect her from the world. Told you so…
Q: What was the meanest thing I ever said to you?
If I was in the U.S., I would plead the 5th amendment. Mum’s the word here…
Q: What age (of mine) did you hate experiencing the most?
While all the years have had their “challenges”, the late teens and early 20s were a roller-coaster. Hang on for the ride or be killed. Sometimes I wished for the latter…
Q: What age (of mine) do you feel like we were closest?
Again, easy peasy: now!
Q: What is the worst part about being my mother?
Trying to keep up with your quick intellect, navigating your sensitive nature, and meeting your high expectations of me, yourself and others.
Q: What is the best part about being my mother?
Keeping up with your quick intellect, successfully navigating your sensitive nature, and meeting those expectations! Yay me!
Q: What’s the one thing you would have done differently as a mom?
Not lose your remaining piece of “binky” (Binky was my baby blanket) at a hotel in Las Vegas. Sorry…
Q: Do you think it’s easier or harder to be a mother now than when you were raising our family?
It is definitely not harder, but infinitely more complicated because of the volume of information available through the Internet. People share their experiences and their knowledge online, so when you can search questions or have doubts you can find a hundred answers or suggestions. We had Dr. Spock and a couple of books as resources. Child-rearing techniques and ideas have changed in the past 30 years, but you can still phone your old Mom for advice. Then you can go ahead and do whatever you think is right or what Dr. Google suggests.
Thanks Mom! I love you!
REAL TALK: Has your relationship with your mom changed after getting pregnant/having a baby? Share in the comments below!