So, today is mother’s day in North America. It’s a time to celebrate the woman who gave birth to you. Buy her flowers, chocolate, cards; laugh at the guys who do their last minute shopping, (and deal with a comedy as you go to the store with clueless men who argue about what Pandora’s is, despite the fact that it’s a store right across from where you’re standing, he seems to think it’s a brand and wants to go into People’s to find the bracelet…)
While I acknowledge the tradition, and accept it- I’m a bit irritated by it. As much as it is about parents, it’s also about children- only, it’s talking about children in relation to their parents. One of my mothers friends wrote on my mother’s Facebook “Jennifer is you…” It’s as if people are not themselves, only an imitation of their parents. Comments such as “You look just like your mother” or “You look just like your father” has plagued me for the last nineteen years of my life. Are our identities only constructed through our parents? Is anybody an individual?
Parents should be remembered, I’m not saying they shouldn’t, but people should also realize that they are not their parents. We don’t look like our parents, we’re not our parents, we are ourselves. People are who they are through their experiences, through their own discovery of their likes and dislikes. When parents assume that you’ll like summer camp/cooking/sewing/reading *this* book because they did, it’s invalidating.
Are we our parents? Who are we? How exactly do we construct our identity? And is it fair to be seen as a version of your parent just for being born by them? Is it really a compliment when someone tells you that you look exactly like your parent did, or is it devaluing everything that makes us who we are? With all these statements from others we start to question ourselves- Who are you? What can you contribute to society? How can you make yourself happy if others see you as a version of someone else?
(This is an opening to a series of posts I’m working on. Consider this an introduction. So there are no academic sources, or criticism, just thoughts for the moment. This is how most of my projects start out, and then criticism and sources will be added into later posts.)
Next post: Who are you: What’s in a name?