I Am My Parents?

When you get to a certain age, you either hear or realize that you are turning into your mother, father or both.  Words come out of your mouth, but the voice is that of mom or dad.  (This is especially true when you have children and you realize that you've just repeated verbatim what your parents said to you when you were young!) Without any conscious effort at all, you have turned into your parents.

(I'm not saying this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it IS a thing.  And if it has happened to you yet, just wait and see.)

I first PHYSICALLY noticed that I was turning into my parents around the time that I turned forty.  There was this line across my forehead.  I am NOT talking about a little wrinkle, I am talking a serious deep line.  I tried a variety of "potions" to rid me of it.  (Several of which came from my mom.  I still don't know if I should be grateful or annoyed.  I think I'm a combination of the both.)  Though the "line" has sometimes gotten less noticeable, it never goes away.  And now it has several "sisters" above and below.  Botox has been suggested, but I am not at the point (nor do I think I will ever be at the point; though you should never say never).  The line exists and there is an exact duplicate on my father's forehead.  Seriously, if you put the two of us right next to each other and just photographed our foreheads, it would be difficult to tell who is who.

As I continue to age, it is obvious that I am inherited my father's skin and not just his wrinkles.  Overall the texture and coloring are identical.  When I look at my father now, I can see what the years have in store for me.

That is not to say that I haven't inherited anything from my mother.  Though our eyes are different colors, they are the same shape.  Staring at separate photos of the two of us, I can see that our eyes crinkle in the exactly the same way when we smile.  We also have the same body shape.  Weight gain is easy for both of us (neither of us want or need it) and it goes directly to the mid-section.  (Not so with my father...who also has skinny legs and ankles which did NOT make it my way.)

But it is not just physically where I have turned into my parents. For as long as I can remember, in the evenings my mother had climbed into bed, watched tv and fallen asleep.  As a youth I couldn't understand it.  The light was on, the tv was on, HOW could she fall asleep?  How could she not be engaged enough with what was going on to NOT stay awake?  Do I need to say that now I do the exact same thing?  (Although I usually turn off the light...I know there is NO way I am going to stay awake no matter what I am watching.)  Some days I'm out by 8:30.  (Shocking, until you realize that most mornings I am up by 4:15 or so.)  Most days I make it till 9:30.  Currently we let our son stay up until 9:30 or 10 on school nights.  Fridays and Saturdays he is allowed to up later and if he wants to watch tv, he does it in our room.  (I tried to get him to watch downstairs, but he decided he was more "comfortable" upstairs in our room!)  He'll sit at the end of the bed, or snuggle between my husband and myself and watch whatever.  I'm only partially conscious and only really wake back up again when he heads to his room.  (Where he sleeps like a log...not even an alarm clock is enough to get him out of bed in the mornings.)

My father is a creature of habit and so am I.  He has to exercise every morning first thing and I have followed in his footsteps.  There is no question as to WHY I am doing it; it is because it is part of the morning routine that is not easily altered.  He also tends to be easily irritated (especially when it comes to driving/traffic) and "snaps" at people.  Sadly, I've been told by my husband that I do the same thing.  (Worse, I have to admit that much of the time he is right.)

The more I think about it, the more I realize that I have become my parents. I've inherited their physical traits.  I've absorbed their habits.  Most importantly while I've grown independent, I rely on them for things and they rely on me.  As a partial reflection of one another, we can trust and love each other while still having differences of opinion.  (They both taught me how to think for myself and form my own opinions.)  I can recognize parts of myself in them and I think they can do the same with me.   These are the people who raised me and still nurture me in many ways.  How can I not be a reflection of them?  Aren't we all?


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