To be sure, I AM my mother's daughter. I inherited her metabolism, the Mongolian eye-fold, and a love of reading from her.
I AM definitely my father's daughter, also... though I didn't get the Wegener's Jewish nose, I do see him when I look in the mirror.
I learned many many things from my parents.
I learned about farming, and butchering, and milking cows, and how to drive a stick-shift (first on a tractor!). I learned to can produce, and to freeze it, and to process the meat we had just butchered. I learned who to go to for help in my math (Thanks, dad, for carrying me through Trig!!). I learned to love animals, and quiet outdoor spaces, and unpolluted night skies. I learned how to pinch a penny until it screams....and then to pinch it a bit further. I learned a lot from my parents.
I also learned some negative things. My husband reminds me often that we can always learn from people, even those with whom we DEEPLY disagree.
In that vein, I learned how not to parent. I learned how to drive my children away. I learned an up-close-and-personal definition of mental illness. In short, I learned that I wanted to do things differently than my parents did...at least some things.
In order to accomplish that, I have parented differently. I have intentionally built positive relationships with my children, with the aim that they WANT a relationship with me, and with God...instead of having one out of fear. I have tried to instill in my children the idea that it is a show of strength to recognize one's limits and to ask for help when it is needed. I have worked to admit my faults, mistakes, and blunders, and to ask for forgiveness. I have worked (with the amazing help of my husband) to give my children freedom within limits, so that they have room to grow and to learn on their own.
I have done a LOT of things differently...this is just the beginning.