beach-323453_1280By Yay Padua-Olmedo

Especially at this stage in my more than half a century of being on planet earth, I get this weird feeling of seeing my mirror image in my grandkids.

Take for example three-year-old Natalie, our apo, in this part of the planet (USA, the other two, Joaqui and Charlize, live Down Under).

“You look just like her,” my older sisters tell me, recalling my cuteness when I was three―wide eyed, expressive nose (like an airplane taking off), pouty lips; and because just like Natalie, I sported full bangs with my bob when I was that age.

I probably score higher in the tantrum department. Natalie may scream louder–enough to shatter a mirror–but my tantrums were wilder. A face-the-wall is all she ever gets; I remember my little behind whacked by my Tatay‘s belt. One tantrum high, my high chair keeled over so I had a big fall. (Yes, may high chair na nung panahon ko!)

This same weird feeling comes when I realize that my habits―such as the way I house-clean, dish-wash or recycle food into new dishes―are throwbacks from my mother’s ways.

Why, I even see in my convoluted shape today her multi-storied tummy and exact same wrinkles which she used to slather with tons of lotion. No wonder I go gaga over lotions.

Our hereditary characteristics or looks are of course a function of our DNA. But we also become our mother or father’s me-too as we unconsciously take on their habits, be they good or bad.

We can’t do much about the way we look, can we? But parents can nurture children of character through their lives, their works speaking louder than their words, guided by these biblical truths:

Luke 6:43―”For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.

Proverbs 22:6―”Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

A character of integrity, wisdom and faith is the most valuable inheritance we can leave our children and grandchildren. Material riches perish. The acquiring of knowledge stops at some point. But a godly character can awaken one’s passion to pursue his God-given purpose―till the very end of his life.

2Timothy 1:5―”For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.” Reared by devoted Christian women, Timothy, the apostle Paul’s trainee, pursued a calling which dramatically touched people’s lives in his time.

Kids will be kids. They will always want to have their way. Natalie is at that stage, testing her limits. But for as long as the adults around her keep the love-discipline balance, I am confident that she will grow up to be a fine individual, just like her parents.

Mommy, come closer to me, you might fall off the bed,” she cautioned her mom a few minutes ago. How’s that for character?