Just as I am older, wiser, more therapised, less volatile, funnier and much more well read, so is she. (Although to be fair, she isn't volatile - I get that from my dad's side of the family.)
And, most importantly, she bears almost no resemblance to the troll-mother I carry in my head. You know the one - I am sure you have one too - that creature with the disdainful stare that pops up when things are going well, going badly or just going, to tell you what a mess you are making of your life.
My troll-mother has a few favourite times to appear: when I am about to open the second bottle of wine, finish my kids' dippy-egg supper even though mine is almost ready, share a choice piece of gossip, look at myself in the mirror, push my clients for a retainer increase or parent a tantrumming child in Pick 'n Pay.
Mine is really big, really loud, really dogmatic and leaves no room for me at all. The only similarity between my troll mother and my real mother is that they look the same - gorgeous, glamorous and 'well turned out' as my friend Viv would say.
Three weeks with my mom was amazing. I got to know her - for who she is now and not the 40-year-old woman I ran away from when I left home and certainly not the troll mother of my subconscious.
I have always demanded that my mom allow me the freedom to grow up and change and make mistakes and correct them, but I have never really given her the same in return. I am going to start correcting that as of right now!
Hmmm... I guess I had better set a calendar reminder for 2024 when my daughter turns 17 to make sure she reads this blog post!