Do you ever have those moments where you’re like, “I really am a product of my raising”? It doesn’t have to be a parent’s influence; it could be a guardian or even a grandparent or aunt that you were really close to whose habits or interests or mannerisms you’ve adopted as your own.
My mom died last year, but she and my dad had very similar interests, and as an adult, I’ve realized how many of those interests I’ve adopted as part of myself.
My mom used to tell me that between her and my dad, there was no way I was getting out of being a huge nerd. And having thick hair. She was always really into grammar and books and anything literary. He’s into those things, too, but my dad is also (and has always been) in I.T., so he’s into computers and software. I should mention, though, that so was she.
Everyone has jokes about how they had to teach their parents how to use different devices and teach them what certain texting acronyms, but I never got those experiences, because my mom was teaching me those things. I do have some funny ones about my mother-in-law, though, that even she cracks up about to this day (LOL doesn’t mean “lots of love”, FYI). But it goes beyond just books and gadgets, of which my parents have plenty.
The other day I went to the grocery store to grab some things for a quick dinner for Shane and me. As is usual for me, I had NPR on my radio. I pretty much listen to it exclusively, if I’m not listening to the classical station, or the local student-run jazz station. That right there is my parents in a nutshell, but I digress. What made this particular trip unique was that I sat in my car when I should have already been in and out of the grocery store, just so I could listen to the skit that was playing. It was part of “Live From Here” broadcast and it was a hilarious skit about a woman being the victim of bullying by a crow and other pests. It was similar to “A Prairie Home Companion”, another radio show I grew up on.
My parents divorced when I was two, so my shared experiences and interests are purely because they were similar in their own interests. I grew up on Monty Python and Frank Sinatra and NPR and books and Douglas Adams and British comedies and computers and wit. Those are things, among others, that both my parents had in common. They had other interests that didn’t get passed along to me like their mutual love of Star Trek (not a Trekkie, sorry guys), but even their interests later on in life that I was too old to be influenced by were the same as each other and me.
When I say something, or do something that stemmed from an interest first introduced to me by my parents, I stop, take note, and usually text my dad about it, which was the case with the grocery trip. It’s humorous to me, but it’s also endearing. My parents are two of the smartest people I know. They also have a great sense of humor, and when no one else understands why I love British comedies, they’ve always gotten it. I like knowing that the things I do or the way I say something was because of interests and values they passed along to me.
Who influenced you for the better? Whose quirky habits or personality traits or interests have you taken on as part of your personality? It’s always fun to stop and think about how similar you are to those around you in the best way.