Last updated: August 25. 2013 6:59AM - 170 Views

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As I get older, people say I look like my mother.Growing up, I was always the daughter who looked more like Dad. It was both of my sisters that were carbon copies of Mom. Yet the older I get, the more I morph into her.Or so we're told.Some say we have the same smile. Others claim we have similar ways.The first shared thing I thought my Mom and I had in common were our index fingers.They don't necessarily look alike, but both of them automatically go into trigger position when we make a point. My kids call it the Mommy Finger.I wasn't certain, but I always suspected where it came from. Turns out, it's inherited.My oldest was about 4 years old when I saw my Mommy Finger aimed in his direction. “Do you understand me?” I asked him. As soon as I saw that finger, I thought of my own mom.And with that one gesture, I had become her.When she whipped out that finger the bravest among her four children would wither before her eyes. We never lied to her if the finger was present. We were convinced it was loaded and ready to shoot at the slightest whiff of wrong-doing.And like a child who has their entire name called when they've done wrong, that finger worked to let each of us know that whoever it was aimed at was in for a really long day.Naturally, the finger didn't appear on its own. It was always accompanied by squinting eyes and a grim look. I can proudly say, I've got that look mastered too.As a mother myself, I believe I took my inherited traits and tweaked the finger and squint with a crazy half-yell that has made for correction perfection. I like to think of it as the trifecta of punishment.When combined, it's a punishment from which no child can easily recover. And trust me, no one wants that punishment twice.Lost homework? My Mommy Finger always helped them put some extra effort into the search.Class clown antics had them rolling on the floor? Time for the squint to make an appearance. “You did what in class?”Never failed. Never happened again.If they weren't doing something they had been asked to do, I reached into my bag of mommy-tricks for the crazy half-yell.Put them all together, and it was blistering.But in all honesty, the Mommy Finger is not the first thing I would hope my children would remember about growing up in our household.I would hope they would think of lots of laughter. I would pray they would remember a quiet, safe place where they could come and talk and be loved. I would like them to think about any nugget of good advice I might have given somewhere along the way.I remember all of those things when I look at my mom. And when people tell me I'm like her, I can only hope that's true.She has always been the woman in my life who I looked to for strength and faith and hope. Her eyes always reflected the “me” I hoped to someday become.Even when I almost flunked typing class.Even when I ran the car into the garage.Even when I tried to lie my way around the Mommy Finger.In her eyes, I was wonderful.I hope my children see that same reflection in their mother's eyes.


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