Thursday, September 20, 2012

Procrastination Pedigree

As I have become a somewhat seasoned mommy, I find myself saying things I swore I would never say…for the simple fact that they first came from the lips of my own parents.  What is it about the innate fear that we all carry that we will one day become duplications of the ones who raised us?  Is it because we are so much smarter than them? NO.  Is it because they didn’t do a wonderful job? Absolutely not.  I believe it is because deep down, part of being part of a family, is seeing the good, the bad, and the ugly in the souls we love the most.  And at the end of the day, our fear of becoming exactly like our parents must be rooted in the fact that we are all too familiar with those traits…especially the bad and ugly ones.  I wish I had a pair of shoes for every time I muttered the words, “when I have kids, I am never going to...” only to actually have kids and eat those words, complete with hummus and a healthy dose of humility. So all of this to say, I have come to an alarming conclusion. 

Procrastination is hereditary, three generations deep.

I practically break out in hives to simply type that sentence, but I honestly can’t deny the reality another day.  My (sweet, precious, wonderful) mama is a rock-star procrastinator.  Why do something today that you can put off until tomorrow?  Life is full of enough things…why add to your plate by being ahead of schedule?  I honestly wish I could tell you that I did not inherit this characteristic…that I grasped all of the other amazing things about my adorable mom. She’s the kindest, gentlest, most precious human on earth.  But the truth is, I did. I didn’t just inherit it, I have embraced it.  I have paraded it on the porch and handed it a cocktail.  Granted, all of this embracing was done against my better judgment, but sometimes you just can’t avoid genetics.  So here I am, a second generational procrastinator, watching my offspring carry on the family tradition. 

And it completely stresses me out. 

My middle goose informed me this morning at 15 minutes until time to leave the house that he “forgot to read his story”.  So I did what any self-respecting procrastinator would do…I told him to grab it and read it to me while I curled his sister’s hair.  The non-procrastinating mom would have used this as a “teachable moment” and told him that homework is to be done in the afternoon/evening, and that he needed to accept the consequences of not finishing his homework and this would teach him not to postpone his responsibilities.  Obviously, this was not the time for “teachable moments”…we had a story to read. 

It goes without saying that the hubs has adapted to my genetic mutation as best as possible.  But it also goes without saying that he is doing everything in his power to fight the overwhelming force that is called DNA.  Procrastination is not a defect that he is familiar with, and I’m confident that he would prefer our geese inherit other characteristics from their mother.  When I was pregnant with our oldest, I remember precious moments when we would lie in bed, his hands placed firmly on my ever-growing bump, and talk about our dreams for this beloved child.  He would say super sweet things like, “I just pray our daughter looks just like you, honey.”  And I would respond by saying, “and I pray our daughter acts just like you, sweetheart.”  For those of you that know our Claire, it’s obvious that God got those prayers mixed up. He’s funny that way.

I recently lost my beloved father to cancer, and it has gutted me like a fish.  But I will say, that one of the most amazing things about losing someone you love so dearly is that you can begin to feel them living inside of you when they are gone.  So many of things that I adored about my dad are finding ways to manifest themselves in my life.  His zest for life, his playfulness, his JOY…they are contagious.   What a blessing to have been his only daughter!

So I guess there’s hope.  There’s hope that my baby geese will grow up to be functioning, contributing members of society. And there’s hope that growing up to be just like our parents is not the worst thing in the world that can happen.  This is one tidbit of knowledge that I will not procrastinate in passing on. 


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