Thursday, June 17, 2010
Where does Jack come from?
Jack is a unique and special little boy. When you pick him apart, bit by bit, you can definitely see traits and physical qualities from many members of our families. But the whole is definitely greater than the sum of it's parts in this instance. I'm amazed at what we've created.
Here is a synopsis of what I see in Jack, and which family member it reminds me of.
Amazing blue eyes. These are definitely "Daddy's" eyes, in shape and almost in color. The true color comes from Jack's great-grandfather Adam, though. Dennis' Grandfather. The expression and focus, from his Grandmother Betty, Dennis' Mom.
Jack: (staring so closely at something, he goes cross-eyed) Oh, I can't see this close. I think I need glasses like Daddy!
General good looks. Well, of course everyone says that Jack is the spitting image of Dennis. And he is. But. Jack's baby pictures (oh from ages 1 to 5) can be easily mistaken for his Uncle John's baby pics. Plus, I know. I was there.
Jack: I want to grow up to be big and strong, just like...Uncle John!
me: Well, I'm pretty sure that's gonna happen.
Curly hair. Jack's very first patch of hair was a tiny curly-Q pig's tail at the back of his neck. Precious! It's calmed down to crazily wavy now, but this of course could only remind me of Jack's Auntie Kim. Massive spiral curly hair. Makes anyone jealous immediately.
Jack: I'm lucky I don't even have to brush my hair in the morning. No one can even tell Mommy!
Grace. Or lack of. Jack may look more like Daddy (Though I see he has my lips and neck. Yes he does!) but his amazing forward motion definitely comes from me. Jack more bursts into a room Kramer-style than walks into it. He sees where he needs to be and makes a beeline, no mind to the obstacles in the way. He sometimes careens off in one direction while looking in the total opposite direction. That's my boy. Oh and we both also share the uncanny knack to hurt ourselves in unique and interesting ways.
Jack: It's funny that we're both hurt and need ice-puppies at the same time, huh Mommy? (Halloween night. I carried Jack up our driveway. He was 3. He smashed his head back into my front teeth. Lots of crying from both of us. Dennis found us on the kitchen floor, both holding cute character ice packs to our various boo-boos.)
Dennis: Really? I left you alone for 5 minutes...
Goofball sense of humor. I get partial credit for that one. Jack and I can and do laugh at just about anything. But the "bang/zing" humor that Jack favors, definitely comes from his Grandpa Louie. My Dad. Who loves to teach Jack the finest in physical comedy.
Jack: See my finger, see my thumb, see my fist you better run!
me: Sigh. (Haven't heard that one in 30 years. Thanks Dad.)
Excellent learning and reading habits. Only one person stands out in my mind. Jack's cousin Victoria. They are both extremely studious, and excellent readers. They prefer a good book to playing outside sometimes. And, they both love stories about animals. Jack also loves to make lists for everything, just like Victoria.
Massive independence. Can anyone say cousin Joey? These two are completely alike in their strive to do everything by themselves, perfectly, and will go into a fit of rage if anyone gets in their way. Really. Do not try to help them. Unless they ask. And even then, stand clear.
Sense of responsibility. This could be either me or Dennis, but the one person that always comes to mind is Grandma Alice, my Mom. There were never enough hours in the day for her to get everything done...work, 4 kids, husband, pets, house, etc. But she diligently took care of everyone and everything. If you could only see the way that Jack handles his homework, taking care of the cats, putting his toys away, organizing his things, helping with the dishes and setting the table, why you too would think he reminded you of a housewife from the 70's. I mean that as a compliment Mom!
Jack: Oh, oh, I just can't get all of this done in time! (This said one night before we left for vacation, as he was rushing around and packing his suitcase, sounding just like a harried Mom.)
Compassion. Another point for Mom! Jack has inherited my inability to hurt a fly. Or flea. Or worm. It's tiresome and inconvenient, but we trap and release all buggies. It's the law in our house.
Jack: (high pitched falsetto) It's okay buggy, I won't hurt youuuuuu!
Long limbed lankyness. Definitely looks like Jack's Uncle Michael gets some credit for that. He's 6'5" and boy does Jack like being picked up by him! You'll learn to shop in the Tall store my little boy.
Jack: Pick me up again Uncle Michael! Weeeeeeeee!
Michael: (after the 10th "over the head" press) Okay last... time...whew...
Jack: Awwww do it againnnnnn!!!
Clueless innocence. And little boy voice. I am always reminded of Jack's cousin Jonathan, whenever Jack makes a cute innocent remark about something. Part of it is that Jack's voice completely reminds me of Jonathan's, in person, and especially on the phone.
Jack: (Leaving a voicemail for Daddy) So yeah, like, we're in the car??? Going to school?? And, um, like Mommy's driving and I had a good breakfast...love you bye!
Love of wrestling. I mean LOVE. Jack likes to wrestle. Well, loves anything that's violently physical. As much as any other 5-year-old. Way more than we can keep up with. Therefore, we love when we can visit Uncle Jeff and let them whup the pants off each other. Throw in a bit of cousin Joey and now that's a party. Thank goodness Jeff has the stamina to keep fighting the kids off. If only he lived closer.
Jack: Okay, I'm the bad guy and you're the policeman and you have to throw me in jail, but then I break out and then you have to---
Jeff: (cutting Jack off in mid-sentence by grabbing him and whomping him into the chair/jail) AH-HAHHHHH! Caught you!
Jack: (bewildered) Oh, wow, you're a good policeman!