I was looking at some of these old pictures of myself as a baby earlier this week. (I hope you can tell which ones are the "old" ones!) While, there are definitely bits of Sweet Husband in the mix too, I was a little surprised at how much the Kid and I look alike at similar ages. I don't know if you can tell from these pictures or not, but...little expressions, the shape of his eyes, certain mannerisms...there I am.
And it's not just looks, I'm starting to see bits of myself in his personality too.
Most of it, I couldn't be prouder of. When he giggled as the waves crashed into him on the beach, I thought, "There's my brave boy!" When he smiles at every stranger he meets, it makes me think of pictures of myself as a child doing the same thing.
Seeing my own character flaws mirrored back at me, on the other hand, is more disquieting.
A few months ago, we started noticing that the Kid says, "Yeah...yeah...yeah," a lot. It's cute, actually, but it's constant. It's his go-to conversation filler. Then I started noticing that I do it too. It's more of an active listening thing, but now that I'm aware of it, it feels like a strange verbal tick. The more I try not to do it, the more it comes out.
As another example, the Kid has had a rough week. In addition to his dada being gone for work, on Monday he moved to a new room at school. *Sniff*. My little caterpillar is now a ladybug.
It was time. Beyond time, actually. As the mother of a formerly immobile infant, I understand how scary it is to have a mobile, tumbly, throwing-things toddler in the same classroom with your wee precious babe. The Kid needed to be with his own kind.
But he's been fighting the transition. He does well during the day. When I pick him up he's happily playing or reading. He eats. He sleeps. But the morning drop-off has not been fun, and I can tell his emotional equilibrium is just "off". His third favorite person in the world was the lead teacher in the caterpillar room. Losing her and--for all he knows--his dada in the same week has taken a toll on his ordinarily sunny disposition.
One time an older relative told me, "I've always been so proud of the way you deal with change. You handle it so calmly." I thanked her for the compliment, but inside thought, "Wow, I've faked that better than I thought!"
Because I don't think I deal with change well at all. I mean, outwardly, maybe, but inside I'm always a wreck. I remember--before I learned to hide it more--sitting at our backdoor, sobbing, when my grandparents moved away. I remember being homesick even spending a weekend away from my mom. It was necessary and even good for me in the long run, but at the time, it sucked and I don't ever remember handling it "calmly".
As Sweet Husband wisely said, "He can't spend his whole life in the caterpillar room. He's going to have to change classes some time." (And thankfully Sweet Husband gets home tonight too, which should help.) But, gosh darn it, I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it easier for him, because I think he really is just like me in that regard.
Also (laying in bed next to the Kid as I'm typing this), the Kid snores. Sweet Husband never does, but claims I do quite often. Sorry about that, Kid.