Dancing Along With My Mom: Inverting And Embracing A New View Of Our Mothers

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I still remember the time when all I wanted to be was just like my mother. She was beautiful, full of life, artsy and always made me feel special. She was the mom who came to the grade school to teach crafts and always encouraged me to be me. She shuttled me at ungodly hours to soccer, skiing and gymnastics. Mom made my world safe and rocked Madonna’s lingerie-as-clothing look way before Madonna was born.

Then I grew up. Or at least I thought I did, and well obviously, I knew everything. My mom no longer made sense to me. Her choices seemed extremely bizarre. I wanted to spread my wings and clearly my mother wanted to clip them.

We had the typical “You are NOT leaving the house in that outfit” battles. I wanted to be free, wild, and alive – why was she killing my buzz? I began to look at my mother as someone who just lived for her children and husband but didn’t live for herself. Someone who put up with more than she should have and I knew I didn’t want that life. I would never be like my mom.

 My mother at her prom

My mother at her prom

Why do we fight becoming our parents? What is the deal when we start to hit puberty? Is it hormones or the need for independence? I distinctly remember thinking I can’t wait to be on my own, live in my own house and then I can do what I want. Now I have a hefty mortgage, cook for myself and constantly think why was I in such a rush to grow up?

My mom used to carry around this huge purse and when we were in the store she would take forever to find her wallet. It made me crazy and I swore I would only ever have tiny, sexy little purses. It worked for a while but I never had what I needed.

My mom always had what I needed.

So what did my mother need? What were her dreams? I realized I didn’t really even know. And that’s really the crux of it all isn’t it? We see our mothers as a parent, not an individual who had a life before us filled with friends, college, even sex (God forbid), and most importantly their own dreams. Maybe we need to try to look at our mothers not as the sum of all of their parts, but to recognize all of the pieces that make them whole. Maybe if we embrace our parents as individuals, for better or for worse, we will gain a better understanding of them and building an adult relationship with them will be easier. Try having a heart to heart conversation with your mother about her life, her youth, her dreams; you might be surprised what you find out. Explore sharing your passion for pole with her while discussing her passion, by including her interests in the conversation it will make it easier for her to understand yours.

When I decided to start with pole and aerial and pretended to run away with the circus I thought my mom would not be thrilled. Much to my shock she embraced the whole idea, reveled in it even, supported my dream to open a studio and talked me off the ledge when I wanted to give up. She watched every video and eventually realized there are many different aspects of pole dancing that can be artfully represented by both women and men. Who is this woman and what had she done with my mother?

Now that I’m older I can look back at the past and realize the choices my mom made were what she needed to do at the time and they were her choices to make. The total devotion to your children is something only a parent can understand but it doesn’t mean that she didn’t have her own life or desires.

 My mother and me

My mother and me

As I was preparing to write this I thought I should actually speak to my mother about her dreams. As a child she ice skated, did ballet and always wanted to be a prima ballerina. While I knew she took ballet I didn’t know she dreamed of being a dancer. Everything makes more sense now. I’m becoming my mother.

My mother, in her late 60′s started taking aerial privates and aerial yoga. She is working towards her yoga certification to teach seniors and is threatening to go skydiving. She is revisiting some of her dreams and quite possibly starting to embrace some of mine.

My Mother Has Chosen to Fly With Me

A funny thing happened the other day. I was trying to find my wallet in my ridiculously huge purse and it hit me, things are just as they should be, my world had turned full circle.

I am just like my mother.

*previously on Bad Kitty News