Opinion: Seeing ourselves in the mirror


Many of us find in ourselves certain traits that remind of us our parents. Often, we believe this to be a good discovery and sometimes not so much. Regardless, things we do, overused expressions, or even how much, too much we seem to love daffodils, each comes to be reminiscent of dear old Mom or Dad. If we think for a moment, it all makes sense. We grew up watching them, observing their every move. How do they interact with their spouse? What do they do to earn money? How do they brush their teeth? With each examination, we intentionally, or through osmosis, absorb a bit of their habit.

We didn’t know them as they were children. We had not yet arrived on the scene. In fact, we might not really have known them until we were much older – and so were they. Is it possible that we’ve been very much like them since childhood, but we didn’t have a frame of reference for what Mom was like at age 7? Could it be that we see them reflecting in our own mirror not because we have become more like them over time but because we are only now old enough to be their age when we first truly became aware of who they were?

Was Dad insecure about getting his first job? Did Mom build her whole year around spring break plans with her friends? Did they laugh, cry, struggle and overcome just like we do – or do we just like them? For some of us, our parents leave us too soon to ever know, and other adults become our pattern. For others, we continue to learn even as they age and face mortality. Whatever the arrangement, they were there from the beginning, whether we took notice or not.