Lately, I've been realizing how much like my mom, I am. In the first real challenges of marriage and motherhood it started to show vaguely. As typical for a woman entering into my own "life", I've told myself over and over how I would never be like her. I would never do things like she did. Although she and I are very different people and very different parents, my mom has taught me a lot of really good things. Some of them she didn't even really "teach" me, more like I inherited them or I was just born with them being ingrained in me. Many of them didn't develop until later in life. Too many times I think I've dwelled on what my mother has done that was wrong...areas she failed me. In a lot of ways, that could be so. But also, in a lot of ways, she has taught me a lot of things. I really began to notice this while Jon and I went on a trip to New England last week. The older I get, the more in love with nature, I become. As a teenager, my parents took me camping...once. Once because frankly, my dad hates camping. Another because it was a miserable trip. We woke up lying in three inches of rain water and we all crammed into the car to sleep the last few hours til it was light enough to drive home. At that point in my life, I hated the outdoors. The bugs, the heat, the simplicity. I did not appreciate the beauty or peacefulness.
We landed in Boston late Wednesday afternoon. We hadn't eaten since that morning, so we headed out to an early dinner. We stopped at this little Italian restaurant called Bocelli's. The waitress came over to our table and asked us, in her strong Boston accent, what we would like to drink. Out of complete shock, I started to giggle. She looked at me bewildered and seemed to ask what I was laughing at. I couldn't help it! I've only heard people talk like that in the movies...but these people really exist! Like my mother, I tend to laugh when it's really inappropriate. For almost the entire rest of the trip, Jon and I only talked in our best "Jersey Shore" accents!
We drove up the coast to make our way to Maine and New Hampshire. Our first stop was the beach. It was completely amazing. The only beach I've seen was when Jon and I went to Cancun for our honeymoon and then to Playa del Carmen a couple years later. I've never seen the beaches here. I was like a kid in a candy store. I squealed like a little girl...I dug through the sand searching for "treasures" of dead crabs, shells, and beach stones. I took off my heels and put my feet in the freezing water. I loved every minute of it. Much to my misfortune, in my slick, wet feet, I fell while climbing the huge rocks along the shoreline. I don't mean fell...that would've been fine. I busted it so hard, I cried out a long, horrific moan from the pain. I laid there thinking, "Jon is going to have to take me to the hospital...here in Maine...on our vacation. We haven't had a vacation in so long! Steph...suck it up."
Jon took a picture and laughed as I hobbled in agony the rest of the week. I'm still really hurting six days later. I think I might have to make a doctor appointment to make sure I didn't crack my tailbone.
Jon sifted through my treasures and made me wean a lot out because he said the dead crab would start to stink, and the shell wouldn't hold up through the plane ride...but I snuck one in my pocket that I didn't want him taking. Later in the week, Jon found a tiny mussel, I had stashed away in there from the beach. He just looked at me and shook his head and smiled. "You fell because you were trying to pry that little sucker off the rock, weren't you!"
I gave a sheepish look. He totally figured me out. "But, I got it! It may have been a Robyn Clifton kind of thing to do, but I wanted that mussel and I was gonna get the dang thing!" Jon says, "Well...I didn't say it, you did." He just shakes his head and laughs. Bruised and limping, I realized...my mom totally would've done something like that.
Looking at all the foliage, I was amazed. Amazed that trees do not look like that here in Oklahoma and amazed at how much God must love us to create this for us. It makes me feel really small. I am in awe of nature...just like my mother.
Later, we are driving through the White Mountains in Maine. It seems like I'm asking Jon to pull over every quarter mile so I can take a picture. It was just so beautiful, I couldn't take it all in. Meanwhile, I'm picking up acorns, leaves, rocks, birch with moss on it, and berries and trying to shove them into the car without anyone seeing. It's frowned upon in a national forest, you know.
I look at these things and wonder how people can think we aren't here because of a creator. Like my mother, I see beauty in simplistic detail.
We had heard about this restaurant in Vermont called Simon Pearce, from Food Network. Simon Pearce is a five-star upscale restaurant and glass-blowing factory. It is very "green" also and makes enough hydroelectric energy to power the entire restaurant and factory. They also only use organic, quality produce and meats from local farmers. It was fabulous...and very expensive. As Jon is looking at the check with his eyeballs hanging out, I say, "It's just money." Like my mother, I like to splurge sometimes and not think about the cost.
A couple days after we got home, the boys are playing in the backyard in the dirt and Jon is lecturing them about once again being filthy. I just looked at him and said, "They're boys...let them get dirty." Sometimes cleanliness is overrated. Just like my mom, I think that fun needs to include making a mess. And... just like my father...Jon is griping about the kids trampling his newly planted grass seed!
I guess some things just go together.