Recently, I purchased some travel-sized hair spray to take with me on my trip to New York. There was one line on the back that read: Do not use this product while smoking.
My first thought was who would do that? Then bam! I was suddenly yanked back into the past watching my mom fix her hair, holding a cigarette between her fingers, while spraying her hair. Thankfully, I never picked up the smoking habit, but as young girl, I loved watching my mom get dressed up. I remember she had a mole, or as they called it back then, a beauty mark, on her left cheek. She would use an eyebrow pencil to color it a little darker.
And in my mind, I can still see her push out her left cheek as she colored the beauty mark. I remember wishing I had one like hers. I recall getting into my mom’s makeup once and attempting to give myself a beauty mark.
I think most little girls grow up idolizing their mom at that young age. I know I did. I watched her, studied her. Wanted to emulate her. I wanted to walk like her, look like her. I wanted boobs like her. I can honestly say that growing up, my identity as a female was in many ways driven by my mom.
Now as I grew older, I found my own style. Today, my mom still loves big bold prints, and I go more for solids or small prints. Mom colored her hair red for years, the most I do is add a few highlights. But still, who I am today is in part because of my mom. In fact, the reason I never smoked was because I saw my mom attempt to quit smoking. She would cry and tell me how badly she wanted to quit, but how desperately she wanted another cigarette. Also, she was deathly afraid of spiders, and I share that same phobia. So I guess you could say I acquired some of her fears and learned a few things from her struggles.
And because my fiction is so reflective of my own life, you see this mother/daughter connection in my books. In Three Heartbeats Away, Riley realizes how much she’s been influenced by the memories of her mom. She wears her hair long because her mother did. Her favorite color stems from the color her mom often wore. Her style, her outlook, her love of art, is all connected to the women she loved and lost when she was only four. Even the car she drives is due to seeing an image of her mom with the same car.
Do you see how your mom may have influenced who you are? In what ways are you like your mom?
Today I’ll give away a T-shirt to one person who tells me how their mom influenced them. (Sorry, but this giveaway is for U.S. residents only. And if you are reading this on Goodreads, you must go to my blog to post your comment to enter.)
The winner of last week’s giveaway is Lisa Ray. Congratulations! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and send me your postal address.