21

February

Hand-me-downs 

Sunday February 21, 2021


Were you ever compared to anybody when you were young? Did you feel a sense of pride or perhaps dread when it happened? 
 
I was compared to my mother. Everybody said I looked like her even though I couldn’t see it at all. This made me emulate her, even in tiny ways. And each time there was a new baby, there was a round of phrases, which I think people say because that is the expected thing to say, rather that it being the thing they might say, if they thought for just a moment. The phrases did, and do, make me twist inside. 
 
“Oh now, who does she look like?” 
“He looks just like…” 
“She’s got blahblah’s hands” 
“The nose and round the chin, it’s just like…” 
“He’s definitely a [insert family surname here]” 
 
I made sure that mantle was not handed down to my children. Put a little shield around them and I’d cheerfully counteract with “I can’t see it… she’s just herself”.  (Actually, that’s not entirely true, I do remember telling my son recently that he is an elegant man, with elegant manners, like my father.) 
 
It struck me recently that perhaps many of us, perhaps all of us, live with this restriction on ourselves. Have you paused, ever, and considered whether you are living completely ‘you’? Or are you wearing hand-me-downs? 
 
Love from
The room above the garage. 

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


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