And now, the long-overdue post, promised on Mothers’ Day, about my mom, which I am writing, obviously, with the help of will.i.am.’s “I Got it From My Mama.”
This song came out when I was a senior in high school, and it made me so angry, because I did not, in fact, get my body from my mama, but from my father’s mother. This is the sort of thing that annoyed me in high school. I’ve been cleaning out my room and finding many, many journals from the year 2005. I was such a cynical, superior brat, you guys. Like, former self, I have so many words for you. (As do I for you, present self, said future self as she gently cried into a glass of wine). But I digress—the point is that I was irritated because I thought that the song assumed that all women only inherited their positive traits from their mothers, and that I did not.
But the truth is that will.i.am was right. I did get it from my mama. I mean, no, if someone asked me, “Baby, where’d you get that body from?,” I would not say, “I got it from my mama,” but that is only in part because it would be disingenuous, and mostly because I would be too busy saying something like, “That question does not even resemble an acceptable thing to say to someone, but thank you, I think.” But so much of what I’m proud of, so much of what I would much rather someone write a rap song about (har har), I did, in fact, get from my mama. Will.i.am says that a woman is “fine” or “pretty,” she’s so “just like her mama.” I believe that, whatever good things I am, I am so like my mama. Not just genetically (though, sure, that, too), but because she raised my sister and me to strive to be half as good and smart and funny and beautiful and kind as she is (and my brother, too, but that’s not really in keeping with my girl power mother’s day post that has turned into more of a commentary on mother daughter relations than an ode to my mother in particular—sorry, Mamochka!).
Will.i.am says, “You better thank your mama ‘cause girl, you’re the one.”
Will do, Will.
Thanks, Mama. Whatever good stuff I have (no, will.i.am, not like that), I got it from you.