Recently, watching Nate has felt a little bit like looking in a mirror.
I am struck by how thoroughly he is influenced by our actions as parents. Everywhere we go people have an opinion about who he looks like – me or Dale. But what really boggles my mind, is how much he acts like us. In the past few months as he has started talking more and communicating more easily, I am astounded by what he picks up and how quick he is to follow our lead in all kinds of things.
When we are active and engaged in daily activities – he is much more likely to be so as well. When he sees us working independently at tasks he is much more likely to play quietly on his own. When he sees us eating he wants to eat. When he sees us going places, he wants to go too. He mimics our mannerisms, the tones of our voices and even the words we use. I realize he learns from other sources as well, but at the moment we are still very much the centre of his small but growing world.
I see myself in him every.single.day. But what I wonder sometimes is how I got into him? Was he born that way? Has my parenting made him a mini-me? Is it the fact that he exists in the same little environmental bubble that I do? All-in-all, it is quite fascinating. Scary too at times. When I know, for example, that he totally has my temper. My tendency to be moody. My penchant for talking non-stop? My sweet tooth? There are many moments when I wonder why (wish perhaps even??) that he isn’t more like his Dad. You know, calm, cool and collected and above all quiet?
Of course he isn’t entirely his mother’s clone. The love of bike riding? Well, that he gets from Dale.
I imagine that I will never know why he is the way he is. But I am hoping that I don’t forget how amazing it is to see his personality traits and his character developing as he grows from baby to toddler to little boy.
Perhaps I am just feeling wee bit nostalgic, knowing that baby number 2 is about to arrive all fresh and new and undiscovered. It’s making me think back to those days when the things that defined Nate were so different – so minute and so unquantifiable. Today is a whole different story and one I don’t want to forget any time soon!