When I was pregnant, I shared my wish for our unborn child with Mike: “I hope he has your eyes and my brain.”
And since Nathan’s arrived into the world, he has been the polar opposite of that motherhood idealism. Nathan has my eyes, but Mike’s everything else.
Nathan looks and acts like his father. Not a bad thing at all, but I was not prepared for how unlike me Nathan turned out. And as most parents, I have intensely analyzed my son, listing into neat Excel columns what traits he inherited from me and what traits his father passed on. My column pales in comparison to Mike’s. My dominant genes knocked out any chance for green eyes. (Take that, EYCL1! I’ll get all genetic up in here, up in here!) Nathan has his father’s hair color (and receding hairline, heh).
He has Mike’s personality. They both love rocks, although Mike grew out of the stuffing-them-in-the-mouth phase (I think). And when they can’t open something, they scream with hot, frustrated tears until I come over and point out that when it says, “OPEN THIS SIDE UP,” maybe you should…open this side up?
In our parenting classes, Mike was always the oldest and I was always the youngest. But that’s what you get when you have a May-December romance, especially if it’s May 1956 and December 1983.
During the pregnancy and even during the first bumpy weeks, I wondered how he would Mike would turn out as a father. And almost 15-months into this strange world of parenthood, there’s no question: anyone who can soothe a toddler with the “attack of the flying hippo” move definitely knows his stuff.
If you ask Mike how it feels to have become a new dad at the age of 50, when most people drop their children off at dorm rooms, not daycare, he’ll say, “I can’t believe I almost missed this.”