Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Boy

You want to know one of my absolute favorite things about being a parent?  I think it's when I see myself, the best of myself, the things that are uniquely me, in my child.  (The opposite is true in regards to the undesirable traits that they inherit.)  Sometimes I look at Owen and see a mini-me standing there.  What a humbling experience it is to see yourself in a child's face.   This summer, I seem to see me in him every time I turn around. 

As a child, I always had "critters" around me. I collected toads in our window wells.  I waded for hours through creeks to catch frogs (and may or may not have brought them home and tried to keep them in my mom's bathtub.)  I turned over logs and rocks endlessly in search of newts, and salamanders. I once pried a squealing chipmunk out of a cat's mouth and nursed in back to health.  But I also loved bugs.  (Not all bugs mind you, just the cool ones)  People that I went to school with all remember the time that I brought the praying mantis to school, it got loose, and ended up biting me after it was terrified by the swarms of third graders that were either fleeing from it or chasing it.  This summer, we've had some awesome opportunities to meet some new bug-friends, and Owen immediately understood how special they are.   As I watched him carefully transfer a praying mantis from hand-to-hand, as it leaped onto his face and he couldn't stop giggling, I saw me.


Today, he found a leaf bug, and gently carried the little guy into the yard where he sat and held it for close to a half an hour.  Then he released it lovingly into a tree.  There I was. 


Then, because the leaf bug climbed out of his sight, he wanted to climb the tree.  He wanted help, but our neighbor informed him that you're not allowed to climb trees until you can climb them by yourself.  So he did.   He tentatively reached up to the first skinny branch and then began to shimmy right up that  maple like he'd been doing it his whole life.  Matthew and I looked up through the leaves at the tiny boy clinging to the branches and we both saw ourselves up there.  Matthew remembered living in a large tree at his grandmother's house, while I reminisced about the hours that I spent in the treetops at my parents' house.   One of my childhood babysitters actually quit after her first day on the job because she found me in the top of a tree, and she couldn't coax me down.

This? This is incredible!
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