Do We Really Become Our Parents?
Now that I am older, and am raising a family of my own, I often pause to reflect upon the philosophies and speculations of a higher order regarding parental wisdom's, genetics, and influences surrounding my formative years.
I find myself questioning the truths passed down by my parents, to be rediscovered, or simply remembered, as I follow the path same paths with my own offspring. Never, did I once think that I would be in their shoes - guiding, comforting, and advising a fledgling, fertile mind of the dangers and pitfalls that lurk outside their young and as yet unknowing consciousnesses.
As I contemplated their sacrifices, successes and failures, I realized what I perceive now as a universal truth to some degree, is one that every grown child who embarks upon the journey of parenthood discovers at some point along the way.
I have become my mother!
When the hell did this happen?
In my haste to get to the bathroom mirror and see if I had indeed become my Mother, I knocked over a small, antique end table. As the resulting crash filtered through my brain's protective haze to the synapses, the words, "Those things cost money to replace you know," resonated inside my head.
Blinking my eyes in shock and disbelief, my mind screaming that it couldn't be happening, I was forced to realise that what I had just discovered was true. Even though the reflection in the mirror was my own, I knew I was looking at my mother!
Slumping dejectedly on the 'throne', head in my hands, my mind conjured images of childhood misdeeds, each one bearing with it verbal ministrations, recriminations and/or conjectures brought forth by my mother in response to my actions.
As each one surfaced and marched smartly before my eyse, my mind simultaneously produced images of myself providing similar 'guidance' to my own children, with my mother's words, first and foremost, resounding in my ears, echoed faintly by my own.
Thoroughly depressed and despondent, I swilled down a cup of caramel-swirled-triple-chocolate-soy-no-foam-mochaccino, with extra sugar, and assessed my situation. How could I have let this happen?
Was this something that was beyond my control? Was this a genetically triggered, life altering gene that remained suppressed until after I reached my 30's - something passed down from generation to generation as punishment for not obeying our parents?
Or was there something deeper involved here - something beyond my meager explanations - something, dare I even contemplate, more powerful than genetics? The more I delved into the unknown, searching for answers, the closer I came to enlightenment - it was there, just beyond my vision - something so profound it brought tears to my eyes and made my head spin just thinking about it.
The only logical explanation...
After realizing the shooting pains in my head were being caused by lack of blood flow to the brain, which in turn reduces the oxygen content, originating from an increasingly constricting waistband, (due in part to the caramel-swirled-triple-chocolate-soy-no-foam-mochaccino-with-extra-sugar I had consumed earlier) and not from a metaphysical breakthrough, I settled down to contemplate exactly what was happening here.
How is it possible that I, the youngest of our family - the one who witnessed the fall of my siblings before me to the depths of marriage, martyrdom, and worst of all, motherhood - how could I possibly succumb to the grip of parenthood, and not be conscious of the fact that I was no longer who I thought I was.
The phenomenon of metamorphosis is generally preceded by some manner of event, so that at least the participant (whether willing or not) of the transmutation is aware there is something important happening. In my case, there was no such warning - no preceding event to mark the passage of one to the other - just a realization one that I was no longer myself.
At some point between then and now, I went to bed as myself, and awoke as a reincarnation of my mother. Who is to say this didn't occur? My mother, bless her soul, has been with her Creator for the last twenty two years. How do I know they didn't strike a bargain of some kind? She could be exceptionally convincing, and lets face it - after twenty two years, she's gotta be wearing Him down.
An ulterior motive?
For all I know, this could have been His plan all along.
I can still hear her voice like it was yesterday - "Sit up straight!" "Don't talk with your mouth full!" "Hurry up, you're going to be late!" "You can't wear that!" "Close the door, you weren't born in a barn!" "Hang your clothes up and clean your room, it's a pig sty!" "Don't play with that - you'll put someones eye out!" "E-nun-ciate for goodness sake - stop mumbling!" "Chew with your mouth closed!
After years of bombardment, I was finally free - oh the glory - sweet freedom - finally, I was able to slouch over my plate, talk while chewing (with my mouth open) take all the time I wanted, with the door open, throw my clothes on the floor, run around with a sharp stick in my hand, mumble till the cows came home and low and behold, nothing horrible happened! I was in my glory! I vowed then and there, I would never be like my mother!
And now look at me - beaten, broken, and reincarnated! Spewing forth such litanies as "For God's sake - put a shirt on - you'll catch your death of cold!" "Chew with your mouth closed!" "Hurry up - you're going to be late!" "If you don't stop that your face will stay like that forever!"
Well, you get my drift.
I'm sure you have heard most of the popular, or not so popular, depending on your belief system and upbringing, theories with regards to our life purpose, fate, destiny, or life path. What if we have it all wrong? What if, there really is no choice - we just wake up one day as our parents? Oh My God! How could I not have seen this?
An impossibility? I don't think so
Now I know you are going to say that it's impossible - my mother is still here - how could I possibly be a reincarnation of her? It's all in the plan....God has insured that she has passed down the 'Mother' gene that sits dormant in your system until you pass the age of 30.
At that point, the gene becomes active, causing minute changes to your physiology, little bit by little bit, over the period of several years until you become a clone-like replica of your mother. You might at this point notice a few similarities, but you delude yourself into thinking you can overcome it - all you need to do is assert your independence a bit more and you'll be fine.
Unfortunately, once the 'Mother' gene has germinated, all hope for independence is lost, along with the expectation that everything will revert to normal, and when the inevitable finally happens, and your mother leaves this plain of existence, you will wake up one day to discover what I have - You have become the person you swore you would never be!
The 'Mother' gene and the Creator have had the final laugh. I leave you now in search of an Aspirin - I feel a headache coming on...