Father like Son. Cole is so much like his dad it takes my breath away.
Big: Cole moves in a big way. I often have to remind him not to “move his mother” out of his way. It is not nice. Joe use to say,“Move.” I taught him to say, “Please move.” With each generation comes the potential for growth. Cole is learning to say, “Excuse me.”
Eavesdropping: Like Joe, Cole loses himself in other people’s stories and conversations. At restaurants, I used to worry that Joe would stop the conversation at another table to ask a question. Cole eavesdrops intently. “Mom, I think those two guys over at that table are planning a special op.” “Really?” I ask if they are arms dealers or into drugs. “Shhh, mom! I am listening!” I quietly sip my hot chocolate, waiting for the next update.
Bullshit: Start talking. Start talking louder. Be unrelenting. The other person will eventually have to agree you are right or shoot you. I take heart in the fact that Cole is not a quitter.
Location: Joe passed along to Cole the secret to all human communication. When you meet someone new, the first question you want to ask them is, “Where are you from?” Once you know where someone is from, you have a better idea of where they are coming from. Of course they are a little standoffish – they are from Boston. If they don’t like you, it could be because they are from Springfield. If you tell long stories that have nothing to do with the question being asked, you are probably from Ohio. People from Texas don’t put lettuce on their sandwiches. If you are from Texas and you like lettuce on your Sammie, then the next question would be, “Where is your mom from?” If you can spell and punctuate, you are either from San Diego, California or Merritt Island, Florida.(I just made that up, but it is my experience.)
Urgency: Joe’s motto: “If you are running late, make a sammie.” If my kid says, “What’s the hurry?” one more time, I am going to grab a pillow and hold it over his face.
History: “Mom, can you tell me everything you know about WWI?” “I want to know everything about WW2.” “Mom, explain the IRA to me.” “Mom, do we know anyone who was in the Vietnam war?” “Mom, did you know Attila the Hun was really not such a bad guy?” Cole is passionate about history. So was his dad. Every night, I say God bless my mom for making me quick on my feet, and God bless Google for making me smarter than I am, because frankly, I had no idea Attila the Hun had such a rough childhood.
“You’re so much like your dad.” Cole loves being like his dad. He takes pride in being like the man he loves with all his heart. Joe is frozen in the good times and will never travel through the teen years and fall from grace. Joe, however, turns in his urn at like-father-like-son comparisons. He loathed family comparisons. He would want so much more for Cole than to be “like him.”
Taking a deep breath, I know my job is to encourage Cole to live the memories of how much his dad loved him while making sure he knows how proud his dad is of him as he moves out into the world and becomes his own best person. I can hear Joe summing this up for me. “The apple may not fall far from the tree, but the apple does fall from the tree and is transformed into many different dishes.” I think this means that Joe hopes Cole will find his own recipe for life, but use his influence for seasoning. I encourage Cole to wonder why the apple fell in the first place.
Do your children resemble the best and the worst of who you are? Does the likeness often sneak up on you and take your breath away?
Glad you were in my Odd neighborhood. Feel free to drop by any time. Odd Loves Company and odd loves you and you and you!! I would love to hear from you in the comment section of this blog, or on Facebook or Twitter!