Are you a clone of your parents or how do your children see you?
I wasn’t really sure what to title this post, primarily because it is really a stream of consciousness type piece. I am just kind of going with the flow of my mind and we’ll see where it takes me. Pretty scary stuff. 🙂
When I was younger, roughly in my teens I used to wonder what my parents were like before they had me. What kind of people were they? I tried to imagine them as children, teens and college students who didn’t have children. Without responsibilities were they at all like me? Were they as wild and crazy? Were they stiff and nerdy? Were they somewhere in between?
I heard the word “no” quite a bit. Not because they were overprotective, I don’t think of them at all like that. But because I was headstrong, defiant, impulsive and at times fearless. Ok, some of the readers who know me well are laughing because that still describes me.
But I couldn’t help wondering how much they hid. It always seemed to me that they kept a piece of themselves back. And as I have gotten older I have learned a few things here and there. There were family events that they didn’t tell us about or things that were stressful that they didn’t mention. And I appreciate it. They weren’t things that we needed to know and my parents tried hard to let us be children. Which is something I want for my children.
Which gets to the point of this. I wonder how my children will remember me. I wonder if they will have any sense of the boy/man that walked the Earth before they arrived. There are many stories from my past that they are not allowed to hear until they are somewhere around 25-30. I am not embarrassed by them, but they are things that are not appropriate for young children to hear. And certainly there are a host of “activities” that I don’t want them engaging in or considering just because they know that “dear old dad” got away with being stupid.
So I guess that I am wondering if they’ll think of me the way I think of my parents. I don’t know.
All I know is that I do the best I can for them and they have my promise that I will do that until I die. Which is another topic, some people are very afraid of death. I am not. I don’t want to die. I expect to live to about 130, maybe even 150. Good genes in my family and a refusal to die give me hope that it is possible.
But seriously, I look at the children and I know that there are things that I have already passed along. My son has my body, particularly my hands and feet. It is kind of weird to see compare, but I see his hands and remember what mine looked like as a child. No scars, no calluses, just a child’s hand. Yet when you compare our hands it is so easy to see that they appear to be almost identical.
Maybe my grandchildren will have my hands or feet. I don’t know.
My son’s speech pattern is already similar to mine, We use similar expressions and his mother tells me that when he and I get frustrated it is like looking at “mini-me.”
But he is also very different from me and that makes me glad. I want him to be a mensch. I want him to have character and integrity, but he should be his own person too. I wonder sometimes if my father/mother had as much joy in watching me play as I do when I watch him. Such joy cannot be bottled up. I warned him that when he is 15 I will still hug and kiss him in public.
And my daughter, well at 30+ days it is too hard to say much about my little princess other than she is a doll. I wonder what the years will bring for all of us.
Stacey August 27, 2004 at 5:34 pm
I don’t know that we can ever really look at ourselves objectively, but we are all products of our unique upbringings. My parents, esp. my Dad were overprotective. He was the Jewish mother in the family. And I know I am overprotective, too. But there are worse things in life. I got lucky in the parents dept., so if I end up becoming them, it might not be such a bad thing.
Vendelascity August 27, 2004 at 5:00 pm
This is very thought-provoking. I don’t have children (yet) but I’ve often wondered the same things about my parents.