Today I caught myself lifting my eyebrows and crinkling my forehead, my face a mirror of my emotions not of my thoughts.
Just like you.
And I'm scared. Because I can't pick up the way you walk or the grace you exude when you sit down. I can't learn to light my face up like yours when you laugh or to look as beautiful when I wake up.
But I can mimic each of your grimaces and the tone of your voice when you're annoyed. I can copy your sigh of defeat and replicate the way you get angry when you drive, to a tee.
I do these things so perfectly that your laughter fills the house when you see my impression.
So I wonder how long till they become my own? Till my impressions become the lessons I've learned from you, the things you pass down to me, that I remember you by? Till I wake up and in horror realize that I've become my mother.
Not because she was patient or funny, but because she overreacted and because she would lift her eyebrows, scrunching her forehead, and against everything her body was saying, insist that she wasn't feeling or thinking anything.
How long Till my child learns these things about me and realizes, with distaste, what ugly habits they are and hopes to never grow up to be like me?
I am afraid because I do not want to be that person. I want to be an example of kindness and joy. How to listen.
So I will try. I will fight my urges to make a face or lash out. I will do my best not to be judgmental and to be fair.
Even with this consciousness, I am afraid.
I am afraid because I wonder how long ago it was that my mother wanted to be a different person too.