Thursday, May 11, 2006

Like father, like...

This week especially I've noticed that Joyce is more like her dad, and Sammy is more like me. Though, they both show characteristics of both Kev and I, it's impossible not to notice that Joycie is more like Kev in several ways, while Sammy is more like me. That is... as far as being like one parent or the other... because they each certainly have more of their very own characteristics.

I suppose it is natural to try to compare the humans that came from us, as parents, to ourselves. It starts at delivery... most everyone will see your newborn baby and provide an opinion on who the little bundle of joy looks like. Then as your child grows, they will take on characteristics of their parents and other family members. For example, when Sammy was a toddler, I would see him stand just like his daddy stands sometimes. Exactly the same way. I have seen Joycie give me a look that so strongly resembles her Gramma, that I'm floored by it.

Joyce looks more like her dad.

There is some of me in her... she has my eyebrows & nose. But overall, she does look more like Kev than like me. And she has many similar personality traits like her dad. She has a very strong work ethic. She likes things her way. She has a more reserved way about her, especially around strangers. Once she knows you, she'll talk, sure... and though she can converse well with people she doesn't know, I don't think she finds it super easy. She is particular about her purchases, and will spend money on things she wants or feels are worthwhile, but she's not all that freely generous, particularly when it comes to money. She is more of a saver than a spender, at times. Not when it comes to sales at Kohl's or Old Navy, though. She is happy doing the things she likes to do alone, often. If she makes up her mind to do something, very little will change it. All of these traits and styles are so very similar to Kev. Also, though Sammy and I both enjoy music, a great deal in fact, Kevin and Joycie seem to have a deeper connection to music than Sam & I do. Kevin doesn't play any instrument; Joycie plays guitar, saxophone and is now taking violin lessons... but they both strongly seem to need music daily.

Now, Sammy... he looks more like me.

Not a very flattering picture of either one of us, but since I am usually the one taking photos, I find there aren't that many of me to choose from. Thankfully, Sammy is going to be tall (like Kev). He and I have the same round face... granted mine is rounder now in my advancing age... when I was young, though, I was thin. But my face has always been round. Sammy's tremendously long eyelashes, though, are all his own.

In some ways, he looks and acts like his daddy. But generally, he seems to have a few more of my characteristics. He can be quite the procrastinator, even tending toward lazy. He dislikes housework and will go out of his way to avoid it. He likes school work, and he likes to do well on it (as long as it doesn't totally interfere with fun). He's very competitive. He is also creative, and he likes to make things. He likes to write, to compose... stories, poems, journals. He's a talker, and can talk to just about anyone... kids his own age or old folks, doesn't matter. He's gregarious (which is more like me in my younger days, I find my desire to socialize lessening as I grow older). He is a major pack-rat. He is a natural leader, though comfortable in the role of follower. He is good at puzzles, all kinds. These are all things like me.

We have a big influence on our children, from providing their DNA to their idea of fun. And their idea of right and wrong. The past month has really hit me how easy it is to show your kids the wrong way to go about something, without really even thinking about it, thinking about the implications. Both my kids have heard me lie to people on the phone, like saying to the telemarketer that I'm just on my way out the door. Telling Kevin later, in front of the kids, something like, "could you believe she got that hair cut?" Then Sammy saying, but Mom, you told her it looked great on her. Telling someone how much I would love to help with the book fair, then bitching about it later... all in front of my young child. Imagine how confusing that is. I've always told my kids how important it is to me for them NOT to lie to me. Yet, I bet the lies they've heard come out of my mouth are probably too numerous to count. Somehow, Joycie got through those years and is savvy. That's another Kevin trait, he's savvy about some things like that, while I can be oblivious to social subtleties. I think I've confused my 11-year-old son, though. Explaining when a lie is right and when a lie is wrong is a hard thing to do.

I've settled on 2 main points, a) don't lie to make yourself look better, and b) don't lie to me (or your dad). And if you can only remember 1 point, remember not to lie to me.


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