“He’s like a little Paul.”
“He’s just like Annie when she was little.”
I guess there’s no getting around the fact that the older generation will compare your offspring to the baby version of you. Hey, I fully reserve the right to do this when my kids have their own babies. But to us our son is just Eli, “B”, Bubza or any of the other nicknames we call him. He was born with a unique personality, and since we didn’t know ourselves when we were babies, our opportunity for comparison is slim.
When we are out and about Eli is often happy, he is in his element, there are people to smile at and new things to smell and grab. I often get the question, “Is he always this happy?” Are people hoping the answer will be yes? Is any baby really happy all the time? And if he is happy, is it because of his disposition or because of good parenting, or both? As much as I would like to take credit when things go well and blame his disposition when things are going south, I think it’s a bit of both. A bit of luck and a bit of skill …. like poker.
Will he share his father’s love of precipitation, art and nature? Will he be a tender hearted homebody like mom? Will he be a long haired, body piercing Jesus-freak? Will he be bookish and sensitive? Will he be a rock-climbing adrenaline junkie?
Like a story unfolding before my eyes, I wait in anticipation for him to give me another clue. I want to hold him loosely, careful not to label, so that he will have the freedom to be himself, loved by his Maker and his parents.