I want to be just like my mother. I've always wanted to be like her with that cool English accent, warm and huggable mummy personality, and unique aesthetic—classic, yet always approachable. She always wears a scarf. She can write. She can stitch. She can knit. She can draw and always seems to know the perfect way to sketch a twinkling eye or a moss-covered eve. She's always inspired the artist in me. She sings. She can play the guitar, the flute, and the piano beautifully. In fact, everything I know about music, the arts and the crafts, I can say I learned from her. In the old days, they'd say she was quite the accomplished young lady.
When I was younger and feeling despondent, I would say, "Mummy, can you please, please play me the Moonlight Sonata?" And she would always oblige. She would sit down at our old stand-up piano that was given to us by one of the church-members. She'd lift up the creaky lid, flip to page 72 in the old yellow book, and she would start playing. She would would lull me into a quiet slumber. And then, without warning, she would transition abrubtly into bouncy Bach and swift 16th note progressions. Just to make me laugh I guess. It's that sense of humor that always keeps me smiling.
Now, I realize that it's not quite normal to always love your mother and smile when you recognize bits of her in yourself. In fact, I think usually it's quite the opposite. But tonight as I was going through some old photos of her (she'll turn sixty in a couple of weeks), I found one that was taken of her when she was about my age. She and my dad were living in Manchester, Vermont at the time. She was probably working at the Equinox life-guarding in the summer (they still use the logo she designed way back when) and teaching skiing at Magic Mountain in the winter. I wasn't born yet.
As I look at that picture, I see bits of me in her. By deduction, I guess that also means that I see bits of her in me. And yes, it truly does make me smile.