Ken and I got to talking tonight (and laughing, too) about how people eventually end up being like their parents. It seems that daughters usually become like their mothers, and sons like their fathers. It's certainly happening in our case. My Mom (bless her heart) is incredibly klutzy, and she'll be the first to admit it. She's always tripping over things, running into things, and unfortunately, there are times that she's really been hurt--we urge her to slow down and be careful, and she really does try, but somehow ends up getting bruised and sore no matter what. I take after her in that regard, no doubt about it. I also notice that Mom and I are agreeing on more and more things, and Mom has a compassion for others that I hope I'm on my way to realizing. (I also take after my Dad in a lot of ways, such as his logic and love of learning, so I managed to get the best of both worlds!)
Ken is the same way. I never got to meet his Dad, I'm sorry to say, but Ken says that he is so much like him. He went into engineering because that's what his Dad did. Ken works long hours and works hard, but he loves his time off and loves to travel and have fun, and Ken says that's exactly what his Dad was like. They both ran various side businesses during their careers, both were (and are) level-headed even during dire circumstances, and both did everything in their power to maintain a relationship with their children after divorce. Ken's Mom (who I have met, and love to pieces) has the same wicked sense of humor that Ken has. During our visits with his Mom (AKA Charlie), who like us readily admits her mistakes, we have all talked about these mistakes and the challenges we have experienced in our lives. Ken and his Mom, as well as my parents, have said that while as parents they may have their flaws, they believe that their children often get a few really good behavior traits from them. As a step-parent, I agree with that, and hope for the same.
In my younger (and more foolish) days, I remember that the last thing I wanted to be was like my parents. I suspect that Ken felt the same way. With a few years under our belts, I think we both have learned that they were a lot smarter and better people than we realized at the time. We're lucky that we both have such great role models and such great parents. If it is inevitable that we become our parents, we can only hope that they are decent and loving people, rather than bitter, angry, and unhappy. Ken and I are very fortunate in that regard.