How I’ve Become My Parents

Memoir Mondays

Courtesy of The Daily Post:
Do you ever find yourself doing something your parents used to do when you were a kid, despite the fact that you hated it back then?

Upon my first glance at this prompt I would say that I’m really not all that much like my parents at all, but that’s not likely since the overwhelming majority of people turn out to be very, very much like their forebears. My reaction, then, is probably just a result of the fact that, in general, most people never really see their parents in themselves. Parents often see themselves in their children, but children often deny it vehemently. For instance, when I was younger I was constantly being told how much I look like my father. It was absolutely true – I look much more like my father than my mother – but I denied it like my life depended on it because what I was hearing was that people thought I looked like a man.

But I’m a grown adult now, so I should be mature and reasonable enough to accept that yes, there are things about me that are just like my parents, even the parts that drove me insane as a kid. So let’s just sit back and think about it for a moment…

Well, the first thing that comes to mind is that, as an adult, I have a pretty intense hatred of snow. It’s funny because as a child I loved snow so much that I would spend hours out playing in it until my nose turned blue, and it would drive me up the wall when my parents would complain about it and wish for it all to melt. I still love snow in the sense of it making the world feel Christmasy, and it’s adorable to watch my daughter play in it, but after a few short weeks of shoveling, and poor road conditions, and delayed flights I begin to develop a hatred that would rival the intensity of a small sun.

Another thing, which will probably give my parents a good chuckle, is that I can’t stand when my kid is being “saucy” (i.e. talking back). I was an outrageously saucy kid myself, and I hated how my parents would always get so mad at me for it, because in my mind I was just telling it like it is and/or standing up for myself. But nowadays I catch myself seething with barely-contained rage when my daughter gets saucy. I try to tell myself that she’s just saying things as she sees them, but like most parents I can’t help but feel like she’s being a saucy little brat and she damn well knows it.

Something that’s more specific to my mom: my temper. I feel pretty strongly that I’m significantly better at keeping mine than she is (yeah, you heard me, mom), but I’ve definitely inherited her ability to Hulk-out. When I was a kid I used to think she was nuts; sometimes it felt like she was getting unrealistically angry at me for no good reason. Now I find myself in the opposite position…I’ll be fine many times in a row, but then there will be this one little thing that my husband or daughter says or does that snaps something inside my brain and makes me want to put my fist through a wall. The key is that I manage to not punch any walls (or anything else), which is now something that I can appreciate she was capable of as well.

And something more specific to my dad: a complete inability to read instructions properly, in particular when building something. It always used to drive me mad when I’d be helping him build something and he’d skip a step, resulting in a need to backtrack and deconstruct several steps before being able to continue. Now, for whatever reason, I seem to have become the exact same way. It’s like I’m genetically predisposed to glaze over certain crucial information whenever it comes to household furniture and appliances. Honestly, it’s rather quite amazing that my husband has never murdered me while attempting to put up shelving or a new installation in the house.

I’m sure there are many more things that I can’t see. I’m sure my husband could point out a few, and I’m quite certain my parents will have compiled a mental list if they’re reading this post. Hell, my daughter could probably point out a similarity or two. But I’ll end it here, because I’m feeling a strong urge to go out and reconfirm my individuality. ^_~

How are you like your parents? Don’t be shy now, go ahead and share!

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