It always creeps up on you, when you realize you’ve become your mother. Rarely do I think before a statement is made, “I am going to say something that will sound like my mother’s voice is coming out of my mouth.” The epiphany hits you after the statement or act is done. Sometimes it makes you cringe; sometimes it makes you smile.
I was raised in a family that really, really loves to sing; and sing loud. My parents played the music they liked, and while lots of kids grow up listening to Oldies, I was the only third grader in my class who knew all the words to Gene Pitney’s “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” or Jim Croce’s “Operator.” Likewise, while my mother sang traditional lullabies to get us to sleep, “Rock-a-bye Baby”, “Hush Little Baby” and the like; the nighttime songs that come to mind most are “Greensleeves," “Yellowbird,” and “I’ve Got Plenty of Nothing.” (While I knew the words, I didn’t really learn the melodies of these songs until much later. My mother is horribly tone deaf, but she makes up for it in feeling.)
So, as we were driving along the other night and the sky started to pour, my son asked me to sing the rain song. Did I think of “Rain, Rain, Go Away” or even “The Itsy Bitsy Spider?” Nope, I started belting out B.J. Thomas’s “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head.” At that moment I was my mother. And I smiled.