So I’ve just realized with some alarm, but not as much as you might think, that I’m turning into my parents. Yep, it’s true. I’m 36, soon to be 37 years old, and I am now manifesting many of the characteristics that my parents exhibited that made my teenage self run for cover. As I approach middle age, I think this may be the plight of all adults.
For instance, this morning, as I was walking my smallest one into school, I waved at a passing car several times thinking it was a good friend of mine. Upon realizing that it, in fact, wasn’t my friend, but a complete stranger, I didn’t stop waving as I was already in a committed relationship at that point. Now, that might not seem that bad, but wait. It get’s better.
My parents are two absolutely loving and lovely individuals. However, each of them has a couple of quirks that used to make me run for cover as a teenager with embarrassment. My beautiful mom, who, for the sake of anonymity I’ll call ‘Karen’,once made my sister-in-law and I walk around all of Tijuana looking for the house of some dead explorer. If I’d been more open, or even paying attention, I could tell you just who that dead explorer was, but like all 16 year olds, I was mortified that my mom was walking military style around Mexico asking loudly in her southern accent, “DONDE ESTA LA CASA DE____?” Because, it is common knowledge that if you speak as loud as possible while attempting to speak a foreign language, the chances of being understood increases to at least .13%. Now, let me clarify the military walk. Like most women, Karen carries a purse; and Karen has a very unique walk when she is on a mission with her purse. Gripping it firmly under her arm, with the strap over her shoulder, she juts her chin out and walks the pace of a competitive speed walker all the while using her non-purse-carrying arm to propel her as she swings it far forward beyond normal personal space, then back. She will never be mugged because criminals flee from before that kind of intensity. And, (I say this with love) it’s kind of scary.
My dad, (let‘s call him George) is the king of the groan-and-sigh. Upon standing, sitting, rolling over, changing the channel (with the remote, no less), or even breathing, the groan-and-sigh can be heard all over the house. And this groan-and-sigh isn’t a recent behavior--I can remember being a small child and
Dad would be getting up off the floor, and from sea to shining sea all that could be heard
He was the age I am right now.
So where does this leave me? Is it possible to deny the genetic inevitability of turning into our parents? One can hope, but I just don’t think so.
The other day, my daughter and I were walking through downtown. We were looking for a birthday gift for a friend and had arranged to meet the boys back at the car. Without thinking, I slung my purse over my shoulder and started speed walking down the sidewalk with my daughter at my heals. “Mom,” she asked, “Where’s the fire?!” (Bless her heart, she’s still too young to be embarrassed by me!) I immediately caught myself and slowed down in order to stop the madness. “Embarrassment avoided,” I thought. "There’s hope for me yet! I will NOT turn into my parents!”
As we got to the car, I unlocked the door and climbed in.