When Jude was born, he looked just like Jimmy. According to this New York Times article, scientific studies have shown that infants usually look like their dads. The theory is that nature helps out Mom a bit by letting Dad know for sure that the kid is his. When Jude popped out looking like he belonged in Jimmy's family, I was fine with this idea. I did, after all, love Jimmy, and liked the way he looked.
But then, when the boy was about a year and a half old, he started changing. He started looking...like me. A lot like me. And thus, a lot like Mama and Daddy. He has the blond hair, which I had when I was little, as did Mama...
Sometimes, I'll look at my hands and see Mama's hands. Right there on the end of my arms. And Jude's hands? Just the same. It's eerie.
I first realized that Jude had started looking like me when Aunt Grace made a comment that Jude could "do that thing you do with your legs." And it was true. I hadn't noticed, but he can do this...
I guess our knees are double-jointed or something, but we both think this is totally comfortable. And it blew me away when I realized he could do it. I've never known anyone in my life who could do it. I can't tell you how it made me feel. There was someone LIKE me.
Because...I have no family. Well, not much, anyway. No brothers or sisters. No parents. And I adored my parents so much, that the thought of their gene pool fading away into oblivion just made me so overwhelmingly sad.
Now I'm starting to worry that he is too much like me. Not physically, the physical similarities are fine. It's the behavioral similarities. Sometimes, the kid will say something, a Gretchenism if you will, and I'll just gasp. He sounds just like a middle-aged Southern woman. I fear that this is not a good thing.
I'll never forget one particular time, several years ago, when a bunch of moms and kids were at our house for an afternoon playdate. The kids were playing in our little above-ground pool, and the moms were all drinking margaritas (please don't judge), when suddenly, Jude fell backwards into the pool and got his foot stuck in the metal pool frame. Instead of shouting "Help!" like most little children would, the boy shrieked at the top of his lungs, "Oh Lordy! Oh Lordy!" He sounded just like me. And...Mama.
A couple of weeks ago, my friend Carol gave Jude a ride to swim practice, and afterwards she said "Jude's so funny. He's fun to listen to when he talks. He sounds so...well, like you." Oh no. When asked to define this, she said that he used big words and sounded sort of formal and old-fashioned for a little kid. Then, the other day, the 7th grade teacher at school told me that she'd finally connected that Jude was my son. She said she could tell because he spoke just like me. When I asked exactly what this meant, she said that we used the same syntax. Sigh. I'm afraid that the chicks won't dig this.
Now all this isn't to say that Jude is in no way like Jimmy. He is. He has his dark brown, Italian eyes, his eyebrows, his feet. Certain mannerisms. They both love The Beatles.
But very often, Jude and I will find ourselves sharing a moment, a joke or a common interest, and when Jimmy walks in the room, we stop and look at each other, and realize that Jimmy just doesn't understand. The other day, Jimmy came in and asked what we were watching on tv, and Jude started to try to explain Doctor Who to him, but after about 30 seconds, just said "It's a show that Mom and I like."
And I feel a little sorry for Jimmy. The same way I felt sorry for Mama when Daddy and I shared a joke. Because Mama never understood our sense of humor. Daddy and I had inside joke after inside joke, and she never got any of it.
I must admit that I don't feel that sorry. Jimmy has his mom and dad and brother and countless cousins who are all just like him. But for me? I just have that one little boy.
So I'm happy to be the tree. I hope he's not too embarrassed to be my apple. And I know that soon, the little apple will roll farther away, and become his own tree. And maybe his little apples will have the same blond hair and the same hands and do the same weird thing with their legs.
You absolutely must go and read our other Apple/Tree spinners!
Ginny Marie at Lemon Drop Pie - NEW on FRIDAY!
Nain at View From Down Here - NEW on FRIDAY!
Janice at I Got Nothing - NEW on FRIDAY!
Next week on The Spin Cycle...
What things do you desperately want to do before you leave this earth?
Learn French? Buy a motorcycle? Visit the pyramids? Climb Kilimanjaro? Make a successful souffle?
Write it. Post it. Let me know. I'll link it.
Check back next Friday for my spin on Bucket List, and get the next week's Spin topic!
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