Too Much Like Me
I love him dearly, this child who is too much like me.
I love the full-bodied laugh that tumbles form his being, often accompanying a sly look in my direction. We have the same sense of humor, and crack up at things that make others look at us oddly. My heart melts at the sight of his smiles, the kind that light up his eyes and radiate to those around him.
That he is so much like me pains me intensely at times. He feels too deeply, hurts so easily. The storms sometimes raging behind his eyes tighten my chest with grief. Consumed with helplessness, I long to lift this dark legacy from him.
He has turned fourteen, and later this year I turn forty. Neither seem possible; both feel unexpectedly old. It's nearly too much for me to wrap my brain around. It seems like just yesterday he was four years old, golden curls and impish face lighting up my life, and I, not yet thirty, two of my children just a prayer waiting to be answered.
He is too much like me, but so incredibly different from me. He makes friends easily. His adventurous spirit leads him to do things I wouldn't have considered at his age. Much more athletic, he is well versed in hiking, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, rappelling, and more. He has performed Shakespeare on stage - King Lear, from memory. I was thirty-something before I could get up in front of a church congregation as lector, the readings laid out before me, albeit very nervously at first.
Alike or different, Zachary is growing into a wonderful young man with a quick wit and caring heart. For better or for worse, the words, "He's so much like you, " or "He's definitely your child," will forever be a compliment to me - although I'm not sure he'll return the sentiment.
Happy Fourteen, Zachary!