As a child I spent several summers with my Grandma, Step-Grandpa (they have since divorced), and my cousin Amber - who is almost exactly one year older than me - in a remote cabin on Lake Couer d'Alene in Idaho. Amber and I used to have colossal fights (we've since outgrown our animosity) and I spent a lot of time being moody and sullen. One summer when I was about seven, my S.G. sat me down to talk to me about my moodiness - he, being manic-depressive, was an expert on the subject.
He sat me down to talk about depression. I don't know if he actually thought a seven-year-old could fully comprehend the concept.
The 'talk' started out with, " I was born with some bad genes." And that's all I really remember. Why? Because my seven-year-old brain was stuck on the fact he was born with JEANS. And bad ones at that - obviously not cool acid washed, pleated jeans - tight rolled, please. Yes, I was a child in the 80's. Shut up. I'm sure the speech was very heartfelt but I'll never know for sure. I got hung up on the jeans.
Where I'm going with this is that my mom and I were having a talk about traits - what I inherited from her, from my dad, other family members. We talked about how we both are pessimistic - or as we like to call it 'realistic'. It made me think about what I want to pass on to George; not that I can control these things, just a mental wish list.
I want him to have: my motivation, my love of reading, my hair (but not the premature gray). I hope he bypasses: my metabolism, my 'realistic' outlook on life, my self-doubt.
I made the mistake of saying to Brian that I hope George doesn't get his allergies, among other things. Unfortunately Brian misunderstood me for not wanting George to turn out like him - which was not my meaning. What I want is for the kid to get the best of both of us - I think that's a common wish for most parents.
Good jeans, I got 'em. Bad ones, hopefully they stay buried in the bottom of the closet!