I’m fairly sure it’s inevitable. As we get older we become our parents. I mean, mothers, how many times have you been completely embarrassed by hearing the exact words your mother said to you as a child, fly out of your mouth to your own children? Or you clean something, or do something and are so overwhelmed with the realization that you have become your mother that you just hang your head?
I’ve come to expect them. Really. I don’t think you can escape it, especially in regards to the raising of your own children. The phrases, dispositions, habits of our mothers get repeated in us as mothers to our own children. We follow our parent’s footsteps in so many ways, even as we are teaching (knowingly or not) our children to follow ours.
What I have a hard time expecting is when I become my father. My mother, I get. I mean, I’m a mother. It equates, you know? But when I do something that I vividly remember teasing or laughing at in my dad…it’s a whole new realm of embarrassing. Realizing I’m the neat freak who takes everyone’s glass away the minute it’s empty to clean it…the increasing desire to be reclusive…and most recently, the eating of orange marmalade from the jar. I know you can’t grasp the horror of that last one. Suffice it to say, my whole childhood I would watch my dad daily get a spoonful of Smucker’s Orange Marmalade and eat it. It was his dessert. Never on toast. Or a bagel. Never normal! Just plain on a spoon. I’ve told him a hundred times it’s the grossest thing ever. I’d tease him. Shudder. Stick out my tongue and go EWWWW! And yet, when I make my own homemade orange marmalade…I…did…the…very…same…thing. After licking that spoon not the first time, not the second time, oh no, the third time…I realized…I have become my father. How did that revelation come? Only my daughter, watching me eat that third spoonful (not on toast) say: Oh mom! That is so gross!