In our family we have a saying: “Who said it, Anna or Nana?” That’s because our 7 year-old granddaughter often says things that sound as if they’ve come directly out of my wife’s mouth or vice-versa. Example: Upon getting new earrings, “I believe that perhaps emerald has been my color all along.” Or after an exhaustingly long and fruitless shopping day, while being reminded that we did in fact find one of the sought-after items, “But that wasn’t really a present for me!”
I’ll let you decide who said what. The point is that these two often express themselves almost identically. It’s funny and adorable and baffling. Is it possibly hereditary? Or is it learned behavior? What makes a 7 year-old want to be like her grandmother? And what makes a grandmother (at times) behave like a 7 year-old?
Seems mysterious but I believe it can be explained. In the truest sense, these are family values. Not the “Traditional Family Values” which is often a religious or biblical distortion with a thinly veiled political agenda. True family values are the things that your family or my family value. It’s not a list of rules that we’ve been told to follow. Our family values come from our hearts and souls.
In our family we value love above all. “I love you” is a constant in our home and nothing sounds sweeter. Respect for one another. The right to disagree without being disagreeable. Caring for one another. Lifting each other up in times of need and allowing others to carry us on occasion. Joy. Laughing first and foremost at ourselves and sharing laughter, good times and fun whenever possible. Tears. We cry for one another. Our hearts break when one of us is suffering and when one of us cries the others can taste the salt. Honesty. Being true to yourself and being accepted by those who love you as you are. Prayer. We pray for peace, compassion, understanding, gentleness and courage. We thank God for our blessings and our strength in times of hardship.
So if Anna acts (and talks) like Nana or Nana acts (and talks) like Anna, it’s only because they mirror the love that they have for one another. And reflect our family’s values.