I’ve Become My Parents
Do you ever find yourself doing something your parents used to do when you were a kid, despite the fact you hated it back then?
I get my body shape and my eyes from my mother. She was short, and struggled with her weight until the last ten years or so of her life. When she died, she was tiny.
Physically, I seem to share her weaknesses. Lower back pain, short stumpy legs, adult-onset diabetes. And the gap between my two front teeth.
Some people think I look more like my dad’s side of the family. There’s no denying the strong gene pool there. But I think I resemble him more in my areas of interest and my intellectual pursuits as much, if not more, than in physical likeness.
The thing is, my mom and dad were more like one person than two. They were married for almost 51 years. Some of those years were really hard. They were part of the Great Generation, with all the strengths and all the baggage that goes along with it. But as a combined force, they were strong. They shared a very strong faith in God. They loved each other. They cared about world events, and they cared about their friends and family. They understod the importance of working hard and making your own way. They both grew up hardscrabble, and they were very proud of my sister and me when we earned master’s degrees in our separate vocations.
They were proud to be Americans. They wouldn’t have understood the morass of self-loathing that has afflicted America as a country since revisionist historians have made us out, as a nation, to be responsible for most of the world’s ills. They wouldn’t have understood a President who made a world tour apologizing to everyone for our existence.
I don’t understand it, either. I am very like both my parents in my politics, my faith, my work ethic, and my loyalty to my family.
I think that’s a good thing.