Connecting With Your Child

Finding connections with our children can be difficult, especially when everyone sees only the other parent in them.

My two boys are both my husband’s mini-me.

From the time they were born, I’ve heard a lot of “He looks just like Greg!” and “They look just like your husband!” or worse “Are you sure you gave birth to those boys?”

Ever since, I’ve been looking for a little bit of me in them. I feel stranded on some strange boy planet where my genetic make up is nowhere to be found…and neither are my 20 lip glosses.

Don’t get me wrong. My husband is very cute and has the best blue eyes ever but, well, other than a birth certificate saying I birthed these kids, there ought to be more!

Hayden has a memory like a steel trap. Like Greg who can rattle off stats about the 1977 Pittsburgh Steelers or the 1997 OSU basketball season, Hayden can rattle off the presidents, which ones were born in log cabins and what he ate at P.F. Chang’s two years ago.

Me? Well, I need a post-it to remind myself to put deodorant on in the mornings.

Evan likes to count his pretzel sticks until he can’t count any higher, 23 at this writing.

Me? I stop at 12 because that is my favorite number.

He comes by his love of math honestly. My father-in-law is a retired teacher.

(Sidebar: I was not his best student.)

Both boys have a love of nitrates that can only come from a man who should be the QuikTrip hotdog spokesman.

Don’t get me wrong, I love that the boys have a lot of their father in them — it makes them fun to be around, and I love Greg even more for passing those idiosyncrasies down to them.

The things Greg and I have in common — pale skin, light hair, a strong dislike for onions and bell pepper — we have passed on to both kids and yet he gets the credit. What gives? I can’t be the only mom out there who feels this way!

I must say, in my eyes, when Evan was born, he looked an awful lot like my side of the family; his hair was much more red, his eyes bigger and he had a fuller face. Was I the only one who saw this? Apparently, because all I heard was “Ohhh, what a cutie! He looks just like Greg!”

I’m sure it was just the immediate post-partum gritchiness in me when I said, “No, he actually looks like me.” insert snarl*

So, as the years have gone by and both kids have developed their own unique personalities, I am always caught off guard when I see one of them exhibiting a trait foreign to Greg: “Look, Evan is eating candy for dinner! He IS my child!”

Hayden and Evan are both avid readers. I spent my summers with Ramona, Nancy Drew and Judy Blume.

They are both very creative with their storytelling, which happens when your Poppy is a writer. How else does your beloved dino land in the Island of Sodor?

Or when Hayden tells me the shoes I’m wearing aren’t the best choice. Now that might have shades of my mother in it, but nonetheless, I love that it sets me straight.

The crown jewel was when Hayden asked for a black sweater. I was so proud, beaming with pride — my child has good, classic taste! He specified a fleece hoodie. Thankfully, he isn’t exhibiting my penchant for cashmere.

I’m a girly–girl living among a bunch of alien boys. Sure, we live peacefully as a unit despite our DNA differences, come what may — statistic, nitrate or fashion-wise.

Until Next Time,

Shelley H.

Categories: Parenting