Apple doesn't fall far from the tree...how is your child just like you?
This boy, he is EXACTLY like me.
He's funny and impatient and sarcastic and has the long suffering sigh thing down pat. He's smart and stubborn and short-tempered and a brilliant reader. His tolerance for pain is legendary. He will forgo dessert in exchange for bread or potatoes every time. He hates it - HATES IT - when someone messes in his domain. He's completely territorial about what's his. He loves what he loves fiercely and completely, and once his mind is made up, it's a done deal. He looks like me. He talks like me. He's built like me, in a way I like to call "sturdy" but that can easily translate into "robust" if we aren't careful. See: bread and potatoes. He has my blue eyes and my thick, coarse, unruly hair that will probably gray early but will never, ever thin, and he has a love of the underdog and a penchant for collecting strays - people especially. He thinks people, all kinds of people, are interesting. Oh, and he completely geeks out about things he is interested in to the point of obsession, and he cannot tell a lie to save his life.
This boy, he is NOTHING like me.
He is confident and self assured in ways I'll never understand or know. He has no fear. No fear of things or people or situations. He's loud and rambunctious and needs to be constantly on the go and around other people to be truly happy. He judges no one. Ever. About anything. He is accepting of others' idiosyncrasies as completely as he expects that others will welcome his. He is always looking for the next adventure, and he is always up for anything and everything that someone suggests to him. He's never met a bit of seafood that he didn't like. He gives out his love and hugs and kisses so completely that sometimes it feels more like an attack than a kindness. He holds nothing back, and every emotion he has ever experienced has been written so clearly across his face it might as well have been tattooed there. Sometimes I look at him and he's just so completely foreign to me that I can't even imagine I gave him life, and that half of his DNA came from me. He's just so different from me.
But then he will give me a certain look, or a particular remark, or I see a gesture that is so clearly ME that it takes my breath away, because it's just like looking in a mirror, except without all the false trappings that looking at a mirror at yourself can bring, like preconceived notions and expectations about what should be staring back at you.
And it's then that I know that we are the same, this boy and I, because the parts of him that I don't really understand are just the parts of me that used to be missing.