(people always tell me I look just like my mom -- you'll have to make up your own mind! I don't have her rad glasses, though.)
Since becoming a mother, I've been thinking a lot about the influence my parents had on me -- intentional and unintentional -- when it came to shaping me as a future parent. (By the way, hey there, Mom and Dad...)
It's hard to know exactly where I'll stand when it comes to sleepovers and learning to drive and breaking curfew and having boys over, but I can already feel myself making decisions about my daughter that are a direct reflection on my own upbringing.
Like staying connected to extended family, for example: even when times were tight, my parents committed to visiting both sets of grandparents every year -- twice a year when my brother and I were little, and then without fail every single summer. (My father, however, was not committed to traveling in comfort; we drove from Minnesota to Nashville in a little Ford Escort with no air conditioning. Brutal!) And I grew up knowing my mom's cousins well enough to be the guest book attendant at one of their weddings.
(on the left, my mom's family [that's my mom, fourth from the right on the couch]; on the right, my dad's mother)
And putting family first: my mom drove me to youth orchestra every Saturday morning for 6 years and never missed one of my swim meets, while my dad got me to every 6 a.m. school orchestra rehearsal on time and knew my teachers so well that they traded book recommendations.
At the same time, I worry about becoming my parents, too -- my mom worried so incessantly that she wound up hospitalized for it, my dad was so scary in his black-and-white ultimatums about how the world should work that I'm still terrified to walk in the grass barefoot, and my parents didn't go on a trip alone together until after my brother and I were in college.
(Clockwise: my parents and me, my poor jaundiced baby brother home from the hospital, our family, with my dad on a camping trip. Why is it that moms are usually behind the camera instead of in front of it? I should really get people to take pictures of L and me more often...)
Since I've been thinking about how my parenting reflects how I was parented, I figured the rest of you have wondered the same thing -- and that's why I've asked some pretty amazing women I know from real life and the blogosphere to share their thoughts on how their own upbringings have shaped them as mothers. Next week, I'll be featuring 5 interviews here on the blog; I'm so excited to share these bloggers' insights and experiences with you!
And if you decide to write your own "becoming your parents" post, I hope you'll link up to mine -- I'd love to learn more about what shaped your parenting decisions, too!