You know how it is, parents; you fear that your child will inherit all the character flaws that trouble you most about yourself.
Now that Nels is getting older, I am starting to notice some of the less desirable traits that we share. He is easily frustrated and ready to give up when faced with the challenge of learning something new. He has a hard time falling asleep at night because his mind is too busy "thinking sad things." A few weeks ago, I saw tears streaming down his face as he ate a sucker. I had asked him to try to finish it before his brother noticed he had it, since Willem wasn't getting one.
"What on earth is the matter?" I asked. "You HAVE a sucker."
The corners of his mouth twisted down as he sobbed, "I can't stop thinking about throwing it away!"
With all of this worry that I am raising a young human who will be as much of a mess as I am, and in the same ways, it is always a tremendous relief when he does something that I would NEVER do.
Behold the thing Nels made out of Legos "for R2-D2 to ride in." Note the shade-providing canopy and the little stoppers on the platform in front of the robot's feet. Look how perfectly it fits. Never in a million years would I do this. Never in a million years COULD I do this.
Yes, he's my boy. But he's also his own little fella, thanks be to God.