I wanted to do a wrap up post after these last five days, talking about what my family has taught me. Family is so terribly essential to life and to finding one’s way through the world. Whether we have good parents or bad parents we try to emulate what the did/didn’t do with us so that we can try to muddle our way through parenthood. Whether our parents had a good marriage or a highly volatile one we learn from it and try our best to life life well.
Our parents mistakes and failings become our hard left and their triumphs become our little beacon of hope. And in all of it I have come to realize that if I constantly worry and fret about making the same mistakes or feeling that I am doomed to fail, I am not allowing myself to be an individual. However much DNA I may share with my parents I am not them. I cheat myself. And by not focusing on the person I am, I do not allow my daughter to learn from what I have experienced…my specific knowledge that only I can give her.
In going back over my childhood and remembering life and what my family has taught me it has only opened my eyes up to how exactly I see the world. I pay attention to things that Evangeline loves, we watch out for fossils to tell my youngest sister about, and every time I see red hots I think of my Papa. We are shaped by those we loved…but we are not copies of them. I can choose to look at the world differently…to look at myself differently. Instead of looking with disdain at the person in the mirror I need to appreciate her for much more than her beauty. After all, I would hate myself for years upon end if my daughter ever believed that her entire self worth was the number on the scale and how perfect her makeup, clothes, and hair looked.
I want my daughter to be a strong woman…a woman who lights up a room because of her charm and laugh and bubbly personality. And if I want my daughter to be that woman…that is the woman I must be. It comes full circle around, shaping by daughter’s view of the world in a different way than mine was shaped. Choosing to push against the tide. And showing her that life is beautiful and full and at the end of your life people will slowly forget what you looked like but they will never forget what you taught them…and how you made them feel.