Saturday, June 07, 2008

It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time...

There are a million things I was going to blog about today. The funny conversation Jason and I had last night, the weird thing that happened on my way to the grocery store this morning (I'm going to HAVE to blog about that at some point), the dog, money...you name it, it's been in my head as a blog post for a couple of days.

But today? I'm going to talk about my son.

Last night I was sitting at my desk working (okay, reading blogs) and my son came over to talk to me. I turned my head ever so slightly as he came into my field of vision.

It was like seeing a ghost.


My son looks like his biological father.


My husband is not his biological father.


I don't think a lot about my ex-husband. I don't know if he's even still alive, honestly. He had a lot of medical issues that could have killed him if he didn't take care of himself and he? Did not take care of himself.

But when my son came to me last night, all tall and skinny and lanky? It freaked me out just a little bit.

I don't like my ex-husband. I have not seen him in many, many years. I don't want to see him.

My son is the polar opposite of his sperm donor. He's funny and bright and kind-hearted. He is probably the coolest kid I've ever met. He's artistic and good at science.

He's really a great kid.

I once took a child psychology class and we talked about Nature vs. Nuture. My ex-husband is not a nice person. He is, in fact, a complete douchehat. My husband is a very good person. I am mostly a very good person. I was very sad, sitting in that class, thinking about how even though we are very good people, my son might grow up and not be a very good person. It made me sick and it made me scared. Because I would never want my son to be like the person his father turned out to be.

I know it doesn't matter that he looks like him. I mean, I knew he would. He's always looked enough like me though. He looks like my sister's sons. They could all be brothers. They all have the same brown eyes, so it doesn't matter my eyes are green. They all have the same dark hair, so it doesn't matter that mine isn't the same color.

But last night he looked like his father.


And it makes me feel strange.

25 comments:

Chandra Stauffer said...

I have experienced this same phenomenon.

With my son, I recognized how he held his fork and the shape of his foot.

I had to deliberately and effortly not hold these things against him.

Angie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angie said...

Wow. This is something I never considered.

I love how you point out the ways that he's not like your ex. That makes a huge difference -- and knowing that he's had NO interaction means that you and Jason have brought out the goodness in him.

Wow.

Karen said...

Well, as an adoptive mom, I'm more on the nurture side on the fence. My oldest boy, although genetically nothing like me, is just. like. me. in most every other way. Sometimes it's scary.

Kudos to you that boy child is becoming more like you and Jason and only shares his looks with his bio father.

frannie said...

I would say it's good that he looks like him.

That way you already have that part of the bargain out of the way.

He gets all of his "inside" pieces from you.

all the good stuff.

all that matters.

all that makes him a wonderful son and person..

he had to take something from his dad... better the looks than the personality.

Tamsyn said...

It really doesn't matter... My brother looks just like our AWOL father, from the angular icy blue eyes to the lean and muscular build (and yes, we did all find that a bit disturbing when my brother first grew into a physical clone of him in adolescence), but personality-wise, he's very like our maternal grandfather - they have exactly the same temper!

You'll have moments when a turn of the head, the way the light catches his features, gives you a bit of a start - and then he'll say something so different, so alien to the way your ex would've behaved that the contrast between him and his biological son will only be the more marked. And you'll be reassured.

Tara said...

My mom has told me that how much I looked like MY unbelievably lame father freaked her out at times too. She is small, dark hair, olive skin, brown eyes... I am tall, blonde hair, green eyes and look ENTIRELY different than her. She was a single mom and people would often comment on how different we looked. That was tough on her. BUT if it helps my dad is still a complete jerk and I am a relatively decent human being... despite those damn genetics :)

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

My oldest son is the spitting image of his Uncle Scott - my husband's brother. Scott and I get along, as long as we're at arm's length and talk about the weather. I am a very huggy-touchy-feely person. Scott is not. When I realized how much Bubba looked like Scott, I worried. But, no need. He's the most lovable little boy I've ever met.

Meanwhile, I am the spitting image of my mom's sister, the most bitter, manipulative woman on the planet. And? I'm not even close to that, thank goodness.

So? I think Nurture can definitely overcome Nature. You have nothing to worry about.

Jenski said...

I'm with Frannie. Sounds like the ex was a looks-only sperm donor.

Kimberly said...

Nurture wins out every time. It's one of those things that makes this often crummy life of ours so beautiful and full of hope.

kittyconcerto.com said...

I got a degree in psychology (with honors--was that bragging? sorry) And yes nature does have a big role in who you turn out to be... but nurture usually has a much bigger role.

Remember there is still 50% of you in there, along with your family, which I'm going to assume is awesome like you, so he's probably pretty safe.

And remember, if you can, to keep talking to him about choices. Even if someone's prone to being obese because their entire family is obese, doesn't make it a life sentence. Unless of course they eat a Big mac everyday. Choices.

This turned out to be a long comment..... =)

BS said...

Son #1 ALWAYS has been the spitten image of his ABSENT father ... Son #2 favored me until he got to adulthood. It was always hard, when they were growing up, not to take out my frustrations on them because they favored him so much in looks. Some of their mannerisms are definitely inherited, because he wasn't around for them to pick them up from him ... Nurture definitely is the key to their "person" today. Thank goodness ... because the ex is not a role model at all.

Maggie said...

I can't imagine how hard that would be!

Tracey said...

That would be unsettling... But you know the truth about him, and physical appearance does not equal personality.

Mean Stepmom said...

I have no biological children, but I can relate. I've been a stepmother for 10 years. And sometimes when my stepdaughter speaks, I hear MY words coming out of her mouth. So don't fret. Your son is not his father. And he still has a very good chance of becoming a thoughtful, loving, responsible adult. Just like you and Jason.

Megan said...

For the longest time, my son looked just like his father... and it bothered me a lot, because I don't want him to be like his father...

Fortunately, his dad is starting to turn around a little... AND he's looking more and more like me every day...

so, it's getting slightly better.. :D

the planet of janet said...

i love it in ways that i think you might understand when people tell me that my daughter looks like me.

because for the longest time, people always told me that she looks like her father. i don't see it, and i think that is a good thing. it protects me from what i don't want to remember.

curvy said...

man, i feel you there. my daughter looks SO MUCH like her father. people just assume she looks like me because of the red hair and blue eyes. but she's the spitting image of her biological dad. it's hard sometimes.

Kelly M said...

Although I personally don't know how you feel I have friends that feel the same exact way as you. This is completely normal but at time it is very difficult to deal with it.

Alpha Dude 1.5 said...

And through your incredible love for him, we get to see your son through the eyes of your heart.
You show us what he looks like on the inside.

A very fine young man, indeed.

Nice job, Mom.

Blessings.

SJ said...

Oh how very interesting and strange. I bet that was strange to see your son that way. Your son is without a doubt awesome, and you are too.

:)

I am Trish Marie said...

People tell me all the time how much Jill looks like me. Those people have obviously never met her father. She is without a doubt the girl version of him. I will be out running errands with her, and run into someone from high school. They will not even have known that I have kids, yet that will without a doubt know who her father is. She looks that much like him. Sometimes, I think that is why I get mad at some of the little things she does that should not bother me, because it reminds me so much of him....

mikey said...

I get that too with my daughter... it does make a person feel odd. I love her and she is different from him, but when she smiles... man, it looks just like him.

Dawn~a~Bon said...

Oh honey, there is a 0.00000% chance that Boy Child will grown up to be anything but a wonderful, kind, caring man. Don't worry for a minute. That child is sunshine.

Rachel said...

This post reminded me of that line in Look Who's Talking, where Kirstie Alley's character is saying "You don't know how confusing it is when someone you love so much looks like someone you hate."

Looks are only skin deep.