There’s a point in every girl’s life when she realizes she’s slowly becoming her mother.
It might be the way you complain about bad drivers, the way you hold yourself, or the way you baby talk to your dog. Or maybe that’s just me.
It could be my impending motherdom, or it could just be growing up. But lately? I see my mother in myself all the time. Which, I must admit, is not a bad thing. My mom’s pretty awesome. My siblings and I owe her a lot – everything? – and the thing I suffer the most about being an expat is that my mother is so far away.
Don’t get me wrong, I was never one of those kids whose mother dressed like them or bought them whatever they wanted or let them eat pancakes for dinner (that last one was what my dad was for). She has never been, and will never be, my best friend. And I’m grateful for that, too. From discipline to guidance to showing by example, my mom has given me all I need to be a good person and, I hope, a good mother.
If I turn out to be anything like she was, then I know I’ll be just fine. And the way things are going, I’m so much more her than I thought. Besides yelling at bad drivers and renaming the dog every time I see him, I’m even starting to eat like her. Well, maybe not just like her, because that would require getting full after 5 bites and ixnaying gummy worms, but I am gaining not just respect, but a genuine love of some of her favorite foods, from smoked salmon to avocados.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen my mom eating lunch leaning over the kitchen counter while doing three things and getting ready to do four more. She’ll usually wrap a Lebanese cucumber with some sliced turkey or ham and eat that with one hand while nibbling on a piece of cheese in the other. She never sits down.
On those days when I’m home alone with my textbooks and notes, and there’s nothing in the fridge, I’ll often make something that reminds me of my mom. As a cucumber wrapped in deli meat won’t do it for me, I make a chopped salad. Being Israeli, she’s a chopped salad fiend: Sabras love their cucumbers and tomatoes, chopped just so, and now, so do I. For substance, I mix mine with my mom’s favorite – chickpeas – and some tuna, and fork it up with a bit of pita. Tossed with olive oil and vinegar, it’s a lovely way to eat well, easy and cheap.
So here’s to all the mothers and becoming a little bit more like them. And don’t worry, mom, I won’t post a picture of you. I know you’re vain. But that’s okay… so am I.
An impossibly easy, satisfying lunch for one.
1 tomato, diced
1 Lebanese cucumber, diced
1 can tuna, drained
1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
extra virgin olive oil and any vinegar you like
salt and pepper to taste
Mix the tomato, cucumber, tuna and chickpeas in a medium bowl. Add a few big glugs of olive oil, a splash of vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy as is or with some bread or pita.