January 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
I hesitate when answering the telephone at my parents’ house. Nine times out of ten I am mistaken for my mom. In an effort to save myself from my childhood script “this is Melissa speaking” I now answer with “hello” and then break the awkwardness by quickly assuring the caller I am not my mother. Most people let out a little sigh confirming their confusion. I usually make a joke about it and then hand the phone over. And it is not just our phone voices that sound similar. I have been told my mother and I share similar mannerisms – the way we use our hands when we speak, the faces we make. Recently, while watching my youngest sister and father walking side by side I was dumbfounded by the similarities – their long legs, their wide shoulders, the way they tilt their heads, and their matching strides.
While not surprising, it is still amazing how much my close knit family shares similarities. Today, as the normal activities of daily life panned out I noticed each of us (whether over the phone or in person) get frustrated…and unexpectedly in similar ways. I observed as each of us in turn became upset or ticked off for various and different reasons. I saw all of us display the same stubbornness, the same withdrawal, and the same way of handling our emotions. We each added our own unique twists, however for the most part we handled our different stresses in a very comparable way.
I can see how this epiphany of mine may sound like common sense (or science), but it truly was an eye opening day. I cannot determine whether our behaviors are right or wrong, but the fact that they are so similar makes me like them just the same. For a brief moment this evening, after all emotions had subsided, I reveled in the way that family runs into the deepest parts of us.
I would much rather my family be known for our similar voices than our way of handling frustration, or our laughter instead of our ability to talk non-stop. But at the end of the day I am just exceptionally grateful we are a family and our similarities are more than skin deep.