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.) 

My dad and me, circa 1990

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.

My dad and my older son, 2007

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? 



Kate started The Shopping Mama™ in January 2009 when, after graduating law school, she traded in online legal research and writing for locating the best products for children. She shops for three kids ages 8, 6 and 3 from their home in Japan. Her military family is making the most of back-to-back overseas assignments by traveling every chance they get.

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  1. 1.

    What a beautiful post. And I don’t think it is silly to think that he is like your dad. I believe you are absolutely right and he will probably continue to be that!! That is so cool!

    We definitely do this for our kids. I have this feeling that Graham is also going to be the (not really nerdy) but very much book smart kid. He loves learning.

    Davis is my all hands on kid. He is the risk taker and adventure seeker. He is also very good at fine motor skills and is constantly thinking.

  2. 2.

    What a great way to see you kids! I agree that it is not silly and we all do this on some level.

    I hope Max continues to remind you of your dad and fills some of your loss.

  3. 3.

    It is amazing to see the traits and qualities of our entire family in our children, but especially fitting that Max and your dad resemble one another. There are pictures of J where my mother’s face stares back at me. It’s haunting. I’m not sure who little man will resemble most. Of course he shares qualities with his dad, but he tends to be an extrovert so far…not like dad at all. ; )

  4. 4.

    My dad passed away very unexpectedly in October, just a few weeks after we found out we were expecting our (huge!) surprise. She was due a few days after his birthday, part of me SO wished she’d come on his birthday. But she was very stubborn (just like my dad) and was late (my first late baby). But she is THE spitting image of my dad.

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