Remember that time you said, “Bless your heart,” and your husband snickered and said that you were turning into your mother? When I was younger, anytime that someone made that comment, or I recognized the signs myself (like the countless times I check that the door’s locked or the iron’s turned off), I felt a sense of dread. Was I really going to wake up one morning and be my mother or father in the flesh?
But now that I’m older, I seriously relish the possibility! How is it that most of us go from thinking that our parents are out of touch, a little bit crazy and sometimes even embarrassing to someone we aspire to be like?
Well, the obvious answer is with age comes a bit of wisdom. But probably a better explanation is becoming parents ourselves makes us see our own parents, even their idiosyncrasies, annoying habits and embarrassing traits, in a new, more positive light. Or maybe it’s recognizing our parents in how we act, talk and look makes it a bit easier to deal with the fact that they won’t be around forever.
In any event, most of us begin appreciating our parents somewhere around our 30s and really start to bond with them on a different level in our 40s. In my case, I went from many years of asserting my independence and rebelling against just about anything my parents told me to starting to see my parents as real (actually pretty cool) people as I developed my own sense of self. I’m now decades past that point, and I can honestly say that I really like both my mom and my dad, not to mention my stepmom, and may even choose them as friends if they weren’t my parents!
Somewhere down the road, if I could wake up and be half as funny, nurturing and driven as my mom or as caring, clever and genuine as my dad, I would consider myself very lucky indeed!