Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 19, 2018

Is that my mom or me?

By Steph Tahtinen


Mt. Pleasant News

It is time to embrace the inevitable. I am my mother. I’ve been aware of the similarities — both physical and behavioral —for years. I occasionally joke that we’re so much alike that, “Let’s face it, we’re basically the same person.” However, I never truly believed it until now.

I don’t know how many times in my life I’ve heard that I look like my mother.

For example, when I was in high school, an acquaintance of my mother’s saw me walking down the street. He didn’t know that I was her daughter at that point, but he commented to his wife that I looked like a mini version of my mother.

Last summer when I was living at home, I walked into a library in a nearby town. I was speaking with the director when he looked at me kind of oddly and asked, “Do I know you?” I responded that he knew my mother, as she is the director for my hometown library, which is in the same system. He said, “Oh yeah! I was thinking, I know that face!”

Needless to say, I walked out of the library a bit red-faced at that remark.

At a restaurant last fall, Mom asked for no butter on her bun, as she has a dairy allergy. Finding out that butter was okay on mine, the waitress commented, “So, you’re identical, but you don’t have the allergy.”

Remarks such as these have only gotten worse as I’ve grown up. They seemed to hit their peak last year when I was living with my parents. The more time I spent with Mom, the more I seemed to be turning into her. I don’t know how many times we would either say something at the same time or one of us would say something the other was just about to say. It went beyond just words, though. At times we seemed to be imitating each other — we had the same expressions and mannerisms.

At the time, I was convinced it was a nurture thing. I was spending too much time with her, so I was becoming her. Now, however, I’m beginning to think there is quite a bit of nature involved as well.

Last week my sister emailed my parents and I a video clip of some old home movies from when Mom was young with the message, “Doesn’t it look like Steph in this clip?” I clicked on the clip, expecting to see a slight resemblance.

It was uncanny.

In fact, it was downright creepy. Not only was the physical resemblance there, but the mannerisms were identical. I felt like an amnesiac — I was watching a clip of myself but had no memory of the event. I spent half an hour replaying the clip over and over again. It was only my uncle being present in the first few seconds of the clip that reminded me that this was my mother I was watching and not myself.

After watching this clip, I realized that I truly am my mother’s daughter. Looking at my mom’s past and seeing myself, I realize that looking at my mom now is a vision of what I will be in 30 years. It seems inevitable that I am meant to be like her.

Quite frankly, I’m okay with that. I can’t think of anybody I’d rather turn into. Except for maybe J.K. Rowling, assuming I can keep the Harry Potter royalties.