Family: We are what our parents were, what our children will become

>> Thursday, February 22, 2007

Have we become what our parents planned for us to be? Most likely, we haven't! When does anything ever truly go according to plan -- we are, after all, only human. But how alike have we become our parents? I was staring - well, glancing - into the mirror today as I walked past and thought to myself how amazingly I looked just like my grandfather on my father's side. I mean, lose a little more hair and gain twenty or thirty pounds, put a scowl on my face, and I'm him.

It's not really fair to imply, however, that he was a grumpy, old man; he wasn't - there were definitely moments of happiness with him, and it warms me to recall the times when I saw his smile. Those were the times when you could feel his pride in his family. The scowl I mention is more of a reflection on AN attitude in his life that is simply easily remembered from the times that it happened. His temper was, admittedly, pretty short. I can feel it in myself sometimes, the urge to blow a gasket about whatever annoys me in the tiniest bit and just sulk. Or maybe that's just another aspect of being human. But I can try. I can choose to be good-natured because that's how I want to be remembered. That's how I want my children to grow up to be.

I look around and see the ways other parents raise their children; the foul language they drop so casually in front of their young ones to pick up -- which they do, as if it were shiny, gold coins, they pounce on such exciting words... the poor habits, the less-desirable friends... all of it is an open book to our children, of what they will become once they are our age. If you ask around, people everywhere want things to get better; they want children to respect their elders... they want people to hold positive attitudes.... they want all of this, but they don't stay the path themselves.

It starts with you, and it starts with me. Be who you want your children to be.


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