Think back with me to childhood. Were there every things that you watched adults or older kids do that just seemed fascinating to you? Things that you wished you could do just the same way?
Those things existed for me.
Sometimes they seemed almost magical, and I can’t even tell you why. And, to be honest, many of them were the most mundane things. Most of them were things done by my mom. And most of them, even though they were mundane, still hold a nostalgic fascination for me.
My first memories are from when I was four or five. I loved to watch Mom write in cursive. I still to this day love her handwriting, which I think is the reason mine – when neat – resembles hers so greatly. But, in those early memories I remember simply being fascinated with the way her pen would glide so fluidly across the paper. I remember getting my own pencil and paper and scribbling line after line, wishing I knew how to make my scribbles really make sense. Wishing I could make them beautiful like Mom’s.
Another thing that fascinated me was the way Mom turned pages in a spiral notebook. Not a fresh one or even one in which she was turning to write in a new page. The ones I’m thinking of included her prayer journals or notebooks where she’d written lists or notes or various other tidbits. I can’t even tell you what fascinated me about the way she flipped through them. Maybe it was the familiarity – the way she seemed to know the notebook. I can’t describe it, but I can still sense it. Occasionally as I flip through my own journals and notebooks, I even feel it.
There are other things – mannerisms, speech inflections, and various other actions. Some of them I have forgotten, but any small thing might refresh my memory. Others of them I catch myself doing, and it’s a sweet thing.
I learned a lot of what I do just from being fascinated with the mannerisms of my mom and other people I admire. The older I get, the more of these fascinating mannerisms I find I have adopted, and it has not been through conscious effort. It’s just who I have become.
Now I am the adult.
I have two daughters and a son who watch my behavior. There are things I do that fascinate them. Things I notice them emulating even now. My prayer is that as I emulate more and more of my mom’s behavior, I will emulate her spiritual examples as well. And maybe, just maybe, I will become the example for my children that she has been for me.