The Curse of Becoming Your Parents

Jets-Dolphin game, Nov 2009 - 071

Jets-Dolphin game, Nov 2009 – 071 (Photo credit: Ed Yourdon)

A mother’s worst curse is to say “I hope you have a kid just like you someday.” But that isn’t the real curse. The true damnation should be “I hope you have a kid someday that will drive you to do the things you laughed at me for saying.”

As kids growing up, my younger brother and I were often at each other’s throats. While we’re incredibly close now, I wonder how my parents survived the hurricane that preceded us when we were on a tear. My father would scrunch up his face, which often turned red in the process, make the universal sports sign for time out and yell, “I will not be a referee!”

My father was not the yelling kind. We knew we were in serious trouble the quieter he got. When he became so riled up he actually yelled, we found it absolutely hysterical. We actually mocked the man! This disrespectful and immature behavior lasted until we had children ourselves. And then the curse reared its ugly head.

One day, I couldn’t take the nonstop wrestling, jumping, karate chopping and general tomfoolery. That’s right. I said tomfoolery. The steam built up between my ears and finally blew out through my ear drums like an old Tom & Jerry cartoon. Suddenly I was shrieking, “I will not be a referee,” while making a T with my hands. The only thing missing was a silver whistle hanging from my neck. It was official. I had become my father.

Oh. But it didn’t stop there. My monkeys looked at me as if I’d blown a gasket and found it unbelievably freaking funny. I felt like I had run smack dab into the middle of a metal pole. All of the times I had unabashedly laughed at my dad came rushing back to me. The curse was complete.

As adults, we have the ability to choose how we act. But that damn curse is sometimes just too strong to break.

EVOLVE: What do you do that your parents did and wish you could stop?