This I Believe

Srithip - Newbury Park, California
Entered on March 4, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family
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I believe it’s the corny traits we inherit from our parents that produces the invisible ties that bind family members together.

The truth is you may not even be aware of inheriting these traits. Sometimes they sneak up on you and before you know it, you’re doing some crazy thing that your parents used to do.

Case in point, when I was growing up, there were several things about my Mom that would drive me nuts. For one, she never bought clothes that fit me but clothes she predicted would fit me in the coming years. Our shopping expeditions always resulted in the purchase of clothes that were one or two sizes too big for me. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that when I look into a fitting room mirror that the reflection looking back should not be of a person shrunken in her clothes. Well, I’ve noticed recently that I’m doing the very same thing to my kids. I buy them clothes with the promise that they will fit into them sometime in the future… promise.

Another thing that used to bother me is the bartering that my Mom used to do with her friends. She would often come home with boxes of “stuff” that she got from her friends after giving them a box of “her stuff”only to trade this stuff for more stuff from someone else. No one really knows how much “stuff” was actually moved through this complex bartering network. And now, I find myself with my own kind of bartering system. Just this week, I took lemons from a friend and distributed them throughout my neighborhood. Tomorrow, I’m dropping off little boys clothes and picking up little girls clothes. Last week, a friend dropped off two boxes of books and, in turn, I have two boxes of toys to move. None of this was planned, it just happened… honest.

But the incident that made me aware of just how much I owe my Mom occurred when I was making dinner last night. I was plating the food, as usual, and realized that I was giving the best servings to my kids. That small gesture to my children was implanted in me by my Mom. When I look back at my childhood, yes – I see myself tripping over my Mom’s stuff while wearing pants that were too long but I also see my Mom always giving us the best food she had – and always offering us the last serving, even if it was her favorite dish. It used to bother me when I was younger but now I understand.

I believe my Mom is the most forward-thinking, resourceful, and generous person I know.

Last month, we celebrated my Mom’s birthday. I wanted to tell her how much I love her and that I’m slowly turning into her but my words failed me. Maybe she’ll read this and know that I’m finally embracing those corny genes!