As my fatherhood progresses, I wonder how much my son inherited from me naturally, and how much of his knowledge/interest is actually instilled by our teaching.
I want to encourage him to play drums like I do. So far, he’s taken a lot of interest in it, and Angela has told me that he loves to drum on things rhythmically. So is that simply a mimicking of my actions, or is it really “in him” to be interested in drumming?
As he grows up, there’s been a constant note-taking on his behavior and habits. It’s been a fun game between Angela and I to see and/or remark who he takes after. But how much of our influence will mold him, and how much of his development is on auto-pilot from the start? The questions only get deeper as I watch my son blossom before my very eyes.
When we were new parents and lil’ Greg was only a few months old, I’d run into other parents with older kids who would look at us and say, “Oh, you’re in the easy stage. Cherish these times while you can, ‘coz when he gets older, you’re gonna miss ’em.” Sure enough, it’s true. Not to say that I dislike the way things are now, but having the “2-hour leash” was a heckuva lot easier than the 24-hr. surveillance mode I find myself in nowadays. So now when I see new parents, I think the same thing. Not sure how to put it, but there’s both a beauty and a tragedy in watching my kid grow up. The beauty lies in the constant milestones and discoveries, and the tragedy resides in the loss of innocence by the same milestones and discoveries. Isn’t that crazy?
On the other hand, it’s always interesting to run into parents who have kids around the same age as Greg (3 yrs. old). The sequence of events is almost always the same:
- There’s always this silent pause to see how they interact with each other, and a readiness to address any impolite or unsavory actions (purely objective to the parents, of course…which presents a myriad of outcomes).
- Then, if everything appears ok between the two kids, the parents make eye contact. This could be followed by 1) a mutual smile or chuckle of amusement between both parent(s)/couples, or 2) a smile or chuckle of amusement by one parent or couple, but a maintained weary or cautious look by the other parent/couple.
- If option “1” occurs, there is an exchange of general compliments, which includes a requisite “How old is he/she?.” From here, the conversation can extend to a variety of parenthood topics, the comparisons of which can lead to mutual bonding, or a realization that the children are being reared in different ways.
- If option “2” occurs, the realization of potential temperament differences results in the diminishing of “friendly” feelings, and the kids are eventually separated without any further acknowledgement between the parents or couples.
Interestingly, in any case, I’ve found that the focus always lies in the kids and their interaction, and the actual introduction between parents hardly ever occurs. I can definitely count on one hand how many times I’ve actually introduced myself to the other parent(s). Yes, we find out nearly everything about the kids, but the parents’ names are almost never known. Why does this happen?