Becoming My Mother Watch, Part 2

So, I kinda hate Mother’s Day since my mom died, but my dad just found this picture tucked inside the old family bible, and it amused the hell out of me for the following reasons:

1) The shirt.
2) Just try and tell me body type’s not genetic.

Mom, 39, and me, 8 10 monthsish, 1975 (I just checked and learned that the original photo says Nov. 1975 on the back, which means I was actually 10 months old then. Damn, I was small. And bald.)

Happy Mother’s Day, everybody.

50 thoughts on “Becoming My Mother Watch, Part 2”

  1. I’m sorry about your mum, Kate.

    I have the same body shape as my mum too (though she has three C-sections on me). She’s hated her body my whole life, which ought to make accepting mine a bit more difficult. But then I’m around her and I get to watch the spectacle of a grown woman who won’t trust herself to eat what she wants, who makes decisions based on fear of a WW Leader named Susan, who doesn’t eat anything after breakfast time on weigh-in day and thinks having the fucking DESSERT she fucking WANTS TO EAT is some kind of reprehensible action at FORTY-NINE FUCKING YEARS OLD…and somehow, all the hard work of accepting my body seems a bit more worthwhile.

    Also, I don’t know who the 70s dude in the back of the picture is, but he is HILARIOUS. Well played, excellent 70s dude. Well played.

  2. I find Mother’s Day really hard these days, too. *hugs*

    I love that picture. Your mom’s shirt is fab, and you look so saucy!

  3. um, the face 8 month old Kate is making is the same exact face Blogger Kate is making in the little inset pic!

  4. Although I am taller than my mother and have a longer torso, we are shaped EXACTLY the same. Especially after having children, my stomach looks just the same as well. This no longer surprises or upsets me, and I actually enjoy the familiarity.

  5. Just a word of warning, if Mother’s Day is a bad day for you anyway for whatever reason, do NOT read the Mother’s Day PostSecrets up today. Big mistake on my part.

  6. OMG Baby Kate is SO doing the same look! And showing the attitude too ;) Oh, and I would so wear your mom’s shirt, if nothing else just to laugh at the way my kids would cringe away from me in public. Yes, I’m a sadistic evil person like that.

    On a more serious note, Mother’s Day sucks when you’ve lost your mom. Even if you have kids. This is number 7 without mom and number 8 as a mom. The best one ever was the one where I had both. The ones since just emphasize the mom-shaped hole in my life.

  7. That’s a wonderful picture, Kate, and I’m so sorry you’ve lost your mom.

    Also, the dude in the background looks not unlike my dad circa 1975. ;-)

  8. I’m very sorry that today is so hard, Kate. On the bright side, your mom gave you a gorgeous blueprint to follow.

  9. How sweet is that picture?

    I think that guy in the back looks like everyone’s dad in the 70s.

  10. Yeah, he’s not my dad, ’cause my dad was already mostly bald, but in general, I agree with that.

    And too funny about the angle/look on my face! I didn’t even notice!

  11. I’m sorry for everyone who’s lost their moms. My heart goes to you today.

    As for the body type genetics – I grew up primarily around my dad’s extended family, and they’re all very tall and lithe whereas my mom and I are short and round. I went to a family reunion of my mom’s family a couple of years ago. These were all people I had never met before, so I was worried about even knowing if I was in the right place or crashing someone else’s party. I walked in the place, looked around, and saw a roomful of people who were all shorter than 5’5″ and minimum 180 pounds each. I was all “MY PEOPLE! IT’S MY PEOPLE! I’M HOME!” :lol:

  12. “um, the face 8 month old Kate is making is the same exact face Blogger Kate is making in the little inset pic!”

    Hee- I noticed that too. It’s all kinds of awesome. Kate, I’d have known that was you even if you hadn’t told us. :D

    I’m four inches shorter in height and narrower through the torso (two bra band sizes smaller) than my mom, but otherwise our body shapes are the same. And with each passing year, it becomes more obvious that Mom has the same body type as Grandma, who had the same body type as Great-grandma (I’ve seen the photos). And people claim it’s not genetic…yeah, right. Try again.

  13. Seriously, once you have the adjective “saucy” in your head and you look at that picture, it’s a world of hilarity.

    I walked in the place, looked around, and saw a roomful of people who were all shorter than 5′5″ and minimum 180 pounds each. I was all “MY PEOPLE! IT’S MY PEOPLE! I’M HOME!” :lol:

    Bwah! This is both funny and beautiful.

  14. I was all “MY PEOPLE! IT’S MY PEOPLE! I’M HOME!” :lol:

    I love it! The last time I went to a family reunion (when I was 18ish?), people I had never met were coming up to me and telling me I looked exactly like my mom at 18. It was so confusing! They were just like, “Oh, you must be Barbara’s child, I’m your 84th cousin thrice removed.”

  15. Wow, I totally remember the day that picture was taken! I would have been 14 at that point. Mom looked great, huh!? That was the grand opening of Dad’s store in Pt. Elgin. That wild ’70s blouse was a crinkly, rough-textured, stretch polyester number, in various shades of blacks, browns, rusts, and creams. The skirt was black polyester double-knit. I don’t recognize ’70s dude.

    Happy Mother’s Day, ‘ittle Katy. (That is freaky about the pictures being so similar.)

  16. Beautiful mom, beautiful daughter.

    I wanted to mention something here….

    For the first time ever, I enjoyed mother’s day brunch by EATING and LOVING it and NOT feeling guilty. I used to feel guilty for so many years about eating on holidays and celebrations until I started reading Shapely Prose.

    The biggest challenge? Being at the table with my sis in law who is not only a year 1 resident doctor, but hardcore dieter and workoutaholic. All through the meal, she kept saying how she needed to lose weight (she doesn’t) and how she didn’t go to the gym today and was upset about it.

    That was my long way of saying, thank you Kate for having this blog because without it, I’d not only be beating myself up and feeling guilty like her, but feeling miserable about me. Today I cooked and fed my family and I laughed with them and I LOVED EVERY BITE AND EVERY MINUTE OF IT. And honestly, I looked damn hot while doing it.

    And when I saw my mom and her gorgeous fat self next to me, I realized, we’re just alike and there is no changing this. Also, my mom looks damn fabulous, so clearly, I must look damn fabulous, too.

    Again, I would never think or feel this way without Shapely Prose.

    Thank you, Kate. Thank you so very much.

    (Sorry if that was rambly and had no point. But I felt amazing and I had to share that it is all owed to this blog)


    Yeah, and can we just take a second to talk about how Walk The Line never explained WHY Johnny Cash wore black all the time? There’s a whole song about it, people — work it in there somewhere. Chuh.

    Although, they did have him do a couple of (unintentional?) Johnny Castle impersonations (“Sorry for the interruption, folks”), the awesome worlds-collidingness of which makes up for a lot.

  18. That is an awesome picture. Especially the look on baby-Kate’s face.

    And I had a teacher in the 90s who looked like 70s dude. :)

  19. OMG, Kate, your baby pose IS exactly the same as your avatar! You had the Fat Girl Angle down at 10 months of age, you pioneer woman you!

  20. It sucks that you didn’t get to spend Mothers day with yours but you obviously did plenty of thinking and commemorating her with the beautiful photo.

    Just like a previous poster I wanted to mention how your blog has helped me have a special day yesterday without fear of food. Usually preparing for and eating around 15 family members would have me anxious for days, planning how I would eat, what I would prepare and even planning how bad I would feel afterwards. This year I made all sorts of food, ate what I wanted and separated the emotions from the preparation/consumption of food. Yay.

    My 5ft 1inch very round, boobless, huge armed and legged Mum has 4, 5ft 1 inch round, boobless daughters. It really is funny. I’m the 5th daughter and somehow ended up 5ft 7inches with huge boobs, arms and legs. Enough genetics for everyone.

  21. Its not mothers day here, but happy mothers day! and my consolations to all that find this day difficult. I dont know what its like, but you have my fullest sympathies.

    also, im sure i wrote a post and posted it way back, but it seems i did my usual trick of writing it out, leaving it and then forgetting and changing the page so many times theres no point in going back to find it! oops.

    what I did say was that everything but my boobs, i appear to have gotten from my mother. Im the same height, same solid bone structure (she was actually slimmer than me in her youth though) same shelf-like hips even when thin, same THIGHS OF STEEL whatever size or age (she’s 54 and a size 22 – her thighs still match mine!) . My daddy gave me my boobs though, because mother doesn’t have big boobs even now. both my sister and I inherited them, so the gene must be strong, and definately from my fathers side.

    I find my little brother the most amusing though. He’s got the broadness from my fathers side and the height from my mothers side. He’s turning out to be bouncer-esque proportions with clown feet, and its totally, TOTALLY genetic. He too, has a the thighs of steel. har har har.

  22. It also means you’re 10 months older than I am. I always did say 1975 was a good vintage.

    The scary thing is you have almost exactly the same facial expression in that photo as you do in your icon.


    This is just cracking me up to no end.

  24. Mom wore black?

    Yeah, that whole outfit was quite a departure for her. Those were the days of her pink-and-green reversible froggy wrap-around skirts with matching froggy applique on the t-shirt and pink espadrilles to match. (I think there was a similar set in a navy and red strawberry-theme). I vaguely recall some gingham trim somewhere in there, too. I’m sure it was cute at the time!

    Lynne, is your father James Taylor??? :)

  25. p.s. In that picture of Lynne’s dad, dig the grocery flyer on the wall! Under BACON, I think it says, Schlitz @ 6 for $1-something LOL

  26. Kate, beautiful mom and beautiful daughter. I was thinking that not only does baby you look like your avatar, but your mom does, too.

    I was 22 in 1975 and I wore all those clothes and liked them, too. I’ll bet that would have been one of my favorite shirts if I’d had a shirt like that.

  27. Those were the days of her pink-and-green reversible froggy wrap-around skirts with matching froggy applique on the t-shirt and pink espadrilles to match. (I think there was a similar set in a navy and red strawberry-theme).

    I remember both of those sets clearly (since she never, ever got rid of clothes and continued wearing them until the ’80s at least.) And I kind of want both of those sets now, come to think of it. Speaking of genetics, there’s a good reason why this was my favorite store in Toronto.

    Oh, and Katia, yes, I look just like her in the face, too. As does my sister J., so technically, I’m turning into J, while she’s turning into Mom.

  28. Kate, that’s a very good point. Hehe.

    Ah, the fun of genetics…my mom and I had the exact same figure (thinnish, with small boobs, big butt, and a tummy) until I turned 20 and spontaneously developed my rack of doom, then gained some weight. Now I look like my grandmother did at my age. :D

  29. I don’t know how long it’s been since you lost your mom Kate. It’s been 10 years for me. I don’t hate Mother’s Day as much anymore. I usually spend Mother’s Day calling all my friends who are moms and wishing them a Happy Mother’s Day.

    I remember my mom and older sister having several print shirts like your mom’s back in the day. I miss the 70’s sometimes.

    And, yes, my body is exactly the same as my mom’s. Exactly.

  30. Also, in other terrifying becoming-my-mum news, I’ve started writing like her.

    Never mind that I’m left-handed and she’s right, or that she holds her pen like you’re supposed to while I have some kind of godforsaken between-ring-and-index grip my teachers tried to beat out of me, or that she learned to write in the 60s and me in the 80s, or that I’ve never consciously tried to copy her handwriting (and have in fact sought to avoid it). Every so often I write a word, and then I look at it and think, “My mother could have written that,” and it is a little bit like waking up one morning with someone else’s arm.

    Has anyone else found the slightly creepy familial handwriting thing?

  31. I, too, have lost my mother (12 years ago.) And I love it when somebody takes a picture of me and the look or the smile looks just like my mom. And sometimes my handwriting looks just like hers, too. It’s not that I’m becoming her — I would be so flattered if someone said I were just like my mom! It’s just that every so often a little echo or a little glimmer of her comes through in me, and since I miss her terribly, I find those little glimmers to be comforting.

    But man oh man, my mom was slender — she was able to control her weight and keep it between 108 and 112 pounds. It’s very simple, she would tell me — and she would tell me about too many calories = getting heavier. Well, I have her general shape — in the 180 pound or however many it is now version! She ate very, very little and I always wonder if she was stoically starving for her whole life or if her slender shape and small appetite were just normal for her.

    She never, ever criticized me for my size, though, even though she did sometimes express concerns about my appetite (because she was afraid that my appetite would lead to the size I am now — or bigger), notably when I was 16 and my school day started with my catching the bus at 11:30 am and getting back home at 7:30 pm. There was no break for a meal at all. We had that schedule because the school was way overcrowded and we actually had two student bodies using the same building — one in the morning and one in the afternoon. So they couldn’t schedule us with a break. And I was ravenous when I finally got home. Fortunately, my parents figured out a way to get me home sooner so while I was hungry it wasn’t as bad as it had been.

  32. Caitlin,

    Even stranger than that (I think) is that I’ll sometimes write words/letters like my DAD. I’ve ALWAYS found it strange, and I don’t understand how/why it’s started to happen!

  33. Kate, my mom died 2 years ago on April 7, and Mother’s day is still very hard for me. I miss her so much more than I can say. She never got to see my twins start kindergarten. She and Katie had EXACTLY the same sense of humor, and Katie looked EXACTLY like mom when she was a newborn. Same reddish brown hair, same toothless smile (mom hated her dentures) same bright blue eyes. My mom was the repository of all child information, and I still wish so often that I could call her with a problem or funny story concerning Teddy and Katie.

    My dad just doesn’t do childhood memories. He worked a lot of overtime and frankly didn’t get to know us that well until we were about in middles school, even though he lived in the same house So he doesn’t know how mom dealt with child related stuff. And he’s not into cute stories even though he adores the kiddos.

    I was very jealous of my husband yesterday, and a little mad at him because he didn’t call his mom until aftert teh kids were in bed, and had to leave a message.

    On the other hand it was an AWESOME Mother’s day in terms of how I spent it. In lieu of a fancy or expensive present, I asked for them to clean out my dumpster of a car for me, and they did! I have a small fortune to win by turning in those 10 cent Michigan cans. And they took me to my favorite Italian restaurant and I had Tuscan Garlic Chicken, and had the other half for dinner tonight. YUM!

  34. We were gorgeous in the 70s, the 80s, and the 90s — but I think THIS is our most awesome decade yet.

    Good post & great picture.

  35. This is my first mother’s day without my mom, who died almost six months ago.

    I was kind of blindsided, since we never really did much for mother’s day. I mean, I always sent a card, but we were pretty low key. So I was surprised by how suck the day ended up being.

    Sigh. Still busting into tears at cafes. I’m sure I look seriously unstable.

  36. To everyone who had mother’s day without their mom, I’m so sorry for your loss.

    This was my mom’s first mother’s day without her mom and we spent it in grandma’s hometown, (where my mom and I both grew up) we went to the cemetary and there were a lot of people there visiting which made me sort of sad but it was also kind of sweet.

    Then we went to the mother’s day recital that my former dance company put on, my grandma was the person who encouraged me to dance and she always loved the annual recital, so naturally when the little 5 year old ballerinas got on staged I started crying like a damn fool in the middle of the theater. *sigh*

    Anyways, I just wanted to let everyone who’s lost a mom know that you’re in my thoughts and I’m sending love your way in her honor.

  37. My condolonces to your mother.

    I, like you, have a similar bodytype to my mother – shapley legs and shorter stature.
    Only I’m her -son-.

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