Smelly Socks: Whatever will be, will be
We all like to think that our kids will somehow get some of our traits, either by genetics or by osmosis. And when we recognize that one little quirk, mannerism or facial expression, we think, "Yep, he or she is just like me or my spouse."
But then there are those "aha" moments when we realize they are their own little people, and when they grow up, they will take some of our qualities as well as their own and become the people we are proud (we hope) to call our children.
It's something that I've been seeing more and more of in my boys, Adam and Charlie, as they grow. Both boys are not perfect (no matter what their mother seems to think), and both boys have their own quirks that sometimes even Joe and I wonder where they came from.
Adam is the outgoing, quick one with a memory like a steel trap (something neither his father nor I can take credit for). He's constantly asking questions and has evolved into an endless talker - at times, not knowing when to stop. He even mumbles in his sleep.
Most of the time, it is gibberish, but nonetheless, that brain doesn't stop working. However, there are times he does things I deem inappropriate, but that he thinks are just fine, and I think, "huh?" But overall, he is sweet and caring and very aware of others' feelings, especially his mama's.
My little Charlie, on the other hand, is a bull in a little boy's body. He is a little introverted until he gets to know you. And he is very sure of the people he likes and the ones he doesn't like. He's stubborn, very independent and sometimes a little lazy but very loyal and loving. And, to mine and my husband's surprise, somewhat sensitive.
He has a great imagination and can play on his own for hours. He has amazing control of his hands and is very precise with his writing and drawings - something that, again, neither my husband nor I can attest to.
I have to realize that while I love the good traits they possess, I cannot - as much as I sometimes want to - squelch those unnerving characteristics that perhaps I don't recognize in myself.
Instead, I force myself to accept that they are innate, and I try to nurture and guide them to be used in a positive way so they can become the men that we and they want to be.
I look at my children and often imagine what they will become. For all of his outgoing nature, I see Adam teaching, maybe becoming a lawyer. Both require a lot of talking, so it would be right up his alley.
As for Charlie, who knows? His independent streak and imagination may lead him on the path to entrepreneurship or maybe even a stint in journalism or the arts.
Whatever these two boys end up becoming, I know it is my job to try my best to steer them in whatever direction their talents and traits may lie - even if I don't recognize any of those in myself or Joe.
When I was a little girl, I used to like the Doris Day song, "Que Sera, Sera," or "Whatever will be, will be."
As their mother, I have realized I need to heed those words and realize that with my guidance and their determination, whatever will be, will truly be.
Anita lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two boys and two dogs, one of which is a girl. Email Johanna Bloom or Anita Spisak at firstname.lastname@example.org.