Today is my granddaughter’s birthday. She is 15 years old! We are very close, as she lives with me. Over the weekend, we had a party for her with some of her friends and family. Her dad, my oldest son, Matthew, was with us and I suddenly thought of something from when he was young that set me off on one of my ramblings….
I was reminded of a time when he was about 6 or 7 years old. It was in the early 80’s, and Elvis Costello had just released his song, “Everyday I Write the Book”. Do you remember it? It had a Jamaican beat and the catchy phrasing only Elvis can produce. It was getting a lot of play time, and as we were riding in the car one day, I was singing along in earnest with the radio. Matthew was in the back seat and leaned up behind me and said, “Mommy, you might write the book every day, but I illustrate it”! (He loved drawing.) Well, I just came unglued laughing about the many levels of meaning that statement had! He, of course, was just talking about drawing…although where he got the word “illustrate” I’ll never know…yet, at another level, all that I did in my life was out picturing through Matthew and his brother, Nathan.
I have thought of this quite a bit over the years. On many occasions, such as this one, his sweet and innocent little boy words drift back to me. And it is true, isn’t it? Whatever actions, thoughts and attitudes we put out, our children and others in our lives reflect back to us. I often say that my children turned into the person I used to be. They didn’t turn into the one I am now, because that is not what was presented to them in their impressionable childhood. They became the thing that was presented at that time.
And this brings me back to my granddaughter….now she is “illustrating” what she saw written during her most impressionable years! This is the main reason that environment begets environment. Why cycles of behavior and actions passed from grandparents to parents to children are so very difficult to break. Even when the parent feels they have broken their pattern or are at least consciously making an effort to do so, the child still must go through their own change. Maybe when our grown up children see the changes we have made, they can then recognize that they, too, can make similar changes.
I guess the point I’m attempting to make here is that what we do – what we write everyday – is illustrated or reflected back to us through the people in our lives no matter what role they are playing. Look at the people nearest and dearest to you and see how you are reflected through them. Manage or change your actions and thoughts based on their behavior. At the end of today, what pages will you have written in your book?