Friday flashback: ‘My daughter, my self’

Natasha & Lisa

Natasha, at age 9, with mother Lisa.

June is the month for high school graduations, a timeless tradition marking a key passage in the lives of students and parents alike.

A year ago, my cousin Lisa Gonzales saw her only child, Natasha, walk across the stage to receive her diploma. I thought of mother and daughter as I considered what to share in this week’s look back at previously published posts.

It seemed like a good choice, an opportunity to honor the relationship between parent and child, but also to raise the question Lisa asked in her 2012 blog post: “Are our children really a reflection of ourselves?”

It’s a good question. Probably every mom and dad has tried to figure out how his or her child is similar or dissimilar from their parents. How much of their physicality and personality is inherent or developed. Where their interests and idiosyncracies come from.

As Lisa suggests, the answer is multifaceted.

“I can look at my daughter and there is no way to deny that she is mine,” she writes. “Actually, who she is goes beyond the reflection in the mirror. Maybe the reflection is more about the values we pass down to our children? The values my parents taught me, I have passed on to Natasha. Her actions are the reflection of me and what I have taught her from the day she was born.”

lisa-natasha-2015

Mother and daughter on 2015 graduation day.

Anyone who knows Natasha knows she is a mini version of her mom. But they also know she has multiple talents in music, dance and sports and that she is very much a product of the influence of her late grandfather — my Uncle Pro.

Natasha attends the same community college in Monterey County, California, that her mom attended. With her whole adult life ahead of her, there’s plenty of time for this young lady to blaze her own trail — or maybe follow in her mom’s footsteps.

Read Lisa’s Voices of August blog post: “My daughter, my self”

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