Saturday, May 13, 2006

M Is For The Many Things 

A teacher's life is full of other people's mothers. If nothing else, the ongoing interaction is a constant reminder that every one of us can only be truly explicable alongside our parents, that traits are indeed inherited and passed along. You meet a mom for the first time after seeing their kid in the classroom all term, and suddenly everything makes sense, every quirk has context.

In my case, everything from my hyperactive wanderlust to my tendency towards easy tears spring from mom. I remind people of my father, mostly, but I owe mom much of my behavior, from my acute respect for careful language to my innate instinct for the psychological and emotive. I may have my father's brain, but I seem to have my mother's heart, and much of her soul.

We own the way we utilize our gifts, of course, and not all of what I inherit is turned towards good. My mother's oversensitivity presents itself in me as an anxiety; coupled with my father's perfectionism, rather than my mother's loose ADHD acceptance, it can heighten and complicate even the most banal of social and professional interactions. Somewhere inside me more often than not his logic gets overwhelmed by her desire to love and be loved.

Nature and nurture combined are a powerful thing. Sometimes I regret the strong otherwise-positive tendencies that I have allowed to rule myself. Sometimes I curse my mother, when I should be cursing -- and curing -- myself. Sometimes I forget that, in the end, it is we who choose to let the facets of ourselves dominate.

There is much to love in me that I love in her, I think. So much potential, and so much to be thankful for. So much generosity, and the desire to please; so much joy in nature, so much wonder at the world-as-it-is.

Without her, I would not wander, and so happily. Without her, I would be colder, darker. I would not see and live the world so interconnected.

So thanks, mom, for making me so much of who I am today. Good, bad, or otherwise, I wouldn't have me any other way.

posted by boyhowdy | 9:53 PM |

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