The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

My son gave me a sour look and mumbled under his breadth that he was ready to leave. I looked at my wife, questioning what I had done. I had simply asked if he was ready, but I knew where I had gone wrong: I had woke him from his beauty sleep. 

No, no, she assured me, he wasn’t upset at me, he was simply nervous about leaving home. Of course, later in the day, when he met his college roommate for the first time, he was pleasant and downright nice. When they connected over music and clothes, you could call him almost “peachy.”

When I joked about my son’s behavior to my wife, she laughed and told me to look in the mirror. Who me? Oh, I got her message loud and clear. My son has certain qualities that come directly from me. In fact, they’re so similar that you could call them spitting images of each other.

Pulling back the curtain

When I meet someone new or visit a new place — like a first day on the job or heading out to a party with lots of new people — I’ve been known to get quiet and brusque. I come off to others as rude, hypercritical, and faultfinding. I don’t mean to, I’m just anxious. I want to make a good impression. I want to put my best foot forward. 

My son was doing the exact same thing. 

Like father, like son

When we got on campus, the day was blur. We were running back and forth, carrying everything that would make up his new room, from our packed SUV to his dorm room — a great workout if I say so myself. We had to climb up a steep hill both ways, but that’s a story for another day.

I was still thinking about him on one of our many trips back up to the room. We were loaded with bags. After we entered the elevator, for a brief rest before we had to make our way to his room, a mom and dad and son stepped in after us. They looked exhausted and exchanged looks between the three of them that showed that the day was getting the best of them. The son even looked a bit scared.

Before I knew it, my son put out his hand, told him his name and floor, and said it was nice to meet him. The kids head shot up and his face broke out into a smile. His whole disposition changed. Yea, I’m far from the perfect parent, but my son gets that kindness from me too. He’s got tremendous patience and empathy for others. 

I guess that’s the good and the bad of parenthood, our children are like us — warts and all. 

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