Despite the fact that Max is only 4 and a half months old, I have a full-fledged image of who he is and who he will be when he grows up. I know it’s totally silly. I KNOW it is. But, I can’t help it. My husband and I have literally spent hours discussing our kids’ personalities and the result is a complete picture of who each will be when they’re older.
Here’s how we imagine them in high school:
- My oldest son is going to be a bit nerdy, super sweet and sensitive and President of this (Math Club) and that (Chess Club).
- My daughter will be athletic, very social and a bit of a risk taker.
- Max will be our gentle giant. Big, intimidating and athletic, but quiet and kind.
Now, obviously, we know we’re wrong and the kids will continue to surprise us every single day with their hilariously ridiculous personalities. But I happen to think that my perspective of Max is spot on. And I recently realized it’s because I’ve painted him as the perfect version of my dad.
Dad: My dad was tall – standing 6 feet 4 inches. He played football in high school and college and was very athletic when he was younger. We loved talking about and watching sports. (In fact, one of the things he set aside for me while he was sick was the stack of college football recruiting letters he’d saved since the late 60’s. I love having them.)
Max: I’ve always thought Max would be my big baby (since before he was even born), and he’s proved me right measuring in the 75th and 90th percentile while his siblings have always settled between 20th and 50th. I also happen to believe that rolling over from his belly to his back and then his back to his belly at 3 and a half months old makes Max an athletic physical baby specimen to behold. (I’m kidding. Sort of.)
Dad: So my dad may have played college football, but he majored in Fine Arts. He was a long-haired, laid back hippie who painted, drew and kicked field goals.
Max: Aside from a few bad spells, Max is generally the most easy-going baby you could imagine. He has taken this move overseas in stride and hasn’t missed a beat. He is happy to bounce alone in his seat or watch his siblings. He loves being in a sling and going along for the ride. He seriously couldn’t be more laid back if he tried.
My dad died a month and a half before I learned I was pregnant with Max. So, yes, I’m sure I’m painting this picture of Max as the gentle giant because it provides some comfort. But, so what? Obviously I want Max to grow up to be his own version of himself – whatever makes him happy. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I hope he continues to remind me of my dad.
Do you imagine what your kids will be like when they grow older? Like you or your spouse? Do you think we as parents can ever have an accurate perspective of our kids’ personalities and personas – even when they are older?