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)

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