Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Apple and His Tree

In the car yesterday, Mia was telling me about a situation with her friends at school.

"What are you going to do about that?" I asked her.

Will chimed in: "Mom, you should be a therapist." And he started mocking me: "Tell me how you feel about that."

"Hey," I warned. (With an internal grin because his comment was funny -- and oh so right on. The kid tagged me big time.)

He did backtrack on the attitude and said he'd definitely visit me to tell me his feelings, were I a therapist.

"No you wouldn't," I said. "You don't now."

"Yeah, I don't really have any feelings," he replied, in a sort of candid, carefree manner.


If I worried much about Will's emotional balance, this would be a serious trigger. Maybe it should be.

But rather, my reaction goes like this: How can this kind of stuff possibly be genetic? Because it is. Without commenting publicly on Husband's composition, if you knew him, you'd know exactly what I mean. I will only go so far to suggest that he's not always be interested in analyzing how he feels about a given situation.

Not unlike his oldest son, who we now know simply doesn't have feelings. He's more of a "Mom, I'm fine" kind of guy. (A classic boy-man answer if there ever was one.)

"But it's my job to worry about you," I explain.

"Well, just stop."

Have I mentioned yet that he's only nine? To think of what's to come...

Aside from this apple and his tree, having sons (this one in particular) has surely helped me better understand the fundamentals of Husband. I could offer up many comparisons, but I'd rather let Husband keep some of his dignity, anonymity, and character (I use this term loosely) by not airing everything I know about him online. All I can say is that boys will be boys. No news here, huh?

Suffice it to say, the apple-tree connection is both fascinating and a mystery. I mean, if we were to talk about "nurture" here (which I don't think we are), I've surely had a influence. A significant one, since I would argue that I do most of the nurturing in our family. So where do I show up in this little man? Only slightly in his appearance, I'm afraid, as he looks a little more like my family than Husband's. The rest is all Dad. All nature.

Now in the spirit of objective journalism, I will admit that the pendulum swings equally as far on the girl side of the family. My daughter demonstrates very little of her father's make up -- except for bits of her appearance. She's all me -- and more -- by both nature and nurture. Bless her heart.

It's hard to tell where the Little One falls on the Mom-Dad spectrum. If I were to make a guess today, I'd say he's a 45:55 right now, with leanings in the Dad direction -- especially since he worships and emulates his older brother. So it's highly likely he'll be telling me to leave him alone in a few years.

I wonder how I'll feel about that.

(532 words)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wrgking on a Laptop

In Kindergarten last week, Max made a timeline drawing. It started with Me [Max] as a Baby: "My mom yos to care me," he wrote and drew. ("My mom used to carry me.").

Me Now: "I play vieo gams." ("I play video games.") Hmmm...not sure I'm especially proud of this self-assessment. But he is quite skilled at them.

Me as an Adult: "I am going to wrgk on my lap top." (That's "work" there in the middle.)

So he's going to wrgk on a laptop -- just like Husband and I do each day. (We both wrgk from home. On laptops.) Perhaps I should be honored, as goes the cliche about copying and flattery. But I'm really feeling sorry for the poor kid and his professional fantasy; I sure wouldn't want him to have my job. Even though I value my professional good fortune every day, we always want more for them, don't we? So let's consider these other options, Max: pediatric surgeon, Wimbledon champion, entrepreneur, community organizer, international agent of saving the world, teacher.

I should've been a better role model. Like Wimbledon champ. Except that I don't play much tennis. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

On the other hand, maybe he will wrgk on a laptop -- creating valuable models of tides that save an ocean species from extinction by global warming; supporting the government in solving country-threatening ego maniacal crime (like Jack Bauer's Cloe on "24"); discovering in computer-generated DNA models a cure for the common cold; animating Disney-Pixar films.

That said, if you notice his "Me Now" entry, I have a feeling Max just wants that laptop so he doesn't have to bargain with his siblings for his turn to play Wizards 101 online on our family computer.

I wonder what I would've written in Kindergarten? It's pretty intriguing to think that it would not have had anything to do with a computer, given that they were hidden away in faraway research facilities like Bell Labs way back then. And now, it's highly likely an average Kindergartner won't grow up without one.

Whatever he ends up doing, I just hope he's strong, calm, kind, humble, and capable. These things shouldn't require a laptop, but it seems somehow likely that they will in his day and age.

Thinking of all the change from then until now, then from now until later bewilders my aging mind. So let's just bring it back around to the here and now. My wrgk is calling on my laptop, and Max is happily playing Wizards 101. Alt Shift Peace.

(426 words)

Monday, April 13, 2009

'Round and 'Round

Saturday: Swim, drop off Mia, clean, (even windows), lunch, pick up Mia, clean, laundry, clean, dinner, lay on couch.

Sunday: Give hints to Will for finding his basket, laugh hysterically when he's standing right next to it and still can't find it. Prep for brunch. Watch kids find eggs in the yard. Serve food for 17. Clean, clean, clean. Lay on couch.

Today: Pack for week in California. I used to fret a bit over such trips. Now I pack two hours before I leave and give it all little thought. (I'm blogging instead of packing now, in fact.) Just another day at the office.

Tomorrow through Thursday: Meetings, presentations, meetings, meetings, intensity, lay on Romy's couch. Hopefully eat a good burrito.

Friday: Happily fly home.

Saturday: Swim, clean, drop off Mia, lunch, laundry, pick up Mia, dinner.

And the circle rolls on...

(143 words)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Moon Power

I took this pic a couple months ago around 4:45 p.m. one afternoon. I was driving home, and about 1.5 miles from my house, right outside our neighborhood, this is what I saw -- the moon rising over Mount Mansfield (aka "Stowe" for non-Vermonters). I don't really feel the need to write 200 words about this. It was just one of those great reminders of how much I like where I live.