Monday, April 8, 2013

Ain't That Just A Kick In The Pants?

Himself and I were talking again last night--I don't remember why--about the fact that The Girl is his little clone.  Looks, facial expressions, personality, idiosyncratic quirks, you name it.  I commented that it must be a little odd to see a mini-you walking around, to which he replied that I needed to take a good look in the mirror and then at Thing One sometime.

Thing One looks the most like me of the three, no doubt.  It's more from my dad's side of the family than me specifically: he's a dead ringer for my father, brother and grandfather.  He has their big eyes, long lashes, rangy build, athletic gait: even the shape of his head and fingernails is the same.  Total strangers who know my brother have asked me if we're related, so there is a resemblance, but Thing One really looks more like them than me.  He does share my tendency to go off into deep thought at inopportune moments, unfortunately--which oblivious state Himself refers to as "Ph.D.-land"--but in personality he is otherwise somewhat of a hybrid between me and Himself.

This train of thought led me to Thing Two, in many ways the odd man out here, as is so often the case.  He is not clearly like either me or Himself in appearance or personality, and he is totally unlike his siblings in personality as well.  They are both generally easygoing and agreeable, and he is Mr.-My-Way-Or-The-Highway if there ever was one.  Good God, that child has a hard head!  Unfortunately, whomever he may end up resembling physically, the issues that bedevil him and label him for the outside world (ADHD and whatever expressive and receptive language issue he has) clearly come from my side, which is a source of endless guilt.

It positively boggles my mind that I never figured out that I had a problem processing verbal information until he was diagnosed and I started doing speech therapy with him at home.  I was the high school valedictorian, got through college cum laude and a doctoral program in Molecular Biology with very respectable grades--you'd think that somewhere in there, the amount of verbal information being thrown at me would have tripped me up, given that to this day I can't remember a damned thing I hear.  If directions require more than two steps--no joke--I have to write them down.

Which is how I survived school, actually.  Somewhere along the line, I figured out--and not consciously--that I needed to write down everything that the teacher said immediately as I heard it and then study from those notes.   I was one of those people who would come out of a 45-minute class with twelve pages of notes written in four colors--a survival mechanism because my auditory memory is total crap.  (Visual memory is a different story and my salvation, though: I can picture where words are on a page and in some cases, 'read' them from the mental image.)

At any rate, this poor kid clearly got his two biggest whammies from my side in the genetic lottery (I am not hyperactive myself, but close relatives are.)  So, no matter what he looks like on the outside, he may be the child fundamentally most like me after all, and that's a hell of a thought.  Not that I don't love him dearly just the way he is, because I do, but of all the things I brought to the genetic table, those are very high on the list of the ones I would least have wished on my child!  



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