Feed on

When I was pregnant and my head filled with dreams of overly simplified Mendelian genetics, I assumed a child of mine would look like me or, if he were a boy, my brother Steve. After all, my skin and hair color are dominant, and Matt’s are recessive.

The universe had other plans: Seeing that my baby would be the fifth Goldstein grandchild but the first Whitworth one, it saw fit to give Simon a mix of all their features and mostly leave my side outside the mix. Even the thing people assume is from me isn’t. Those big dark eyes of his? Totally his Great Aunt Barb’s (and my Dad’s and brothers’). Mine are hazel.

No, the resemblance between me and Simon starts and ends with his dimples. Nor do I share his love of cars, buses, trains, trucks, tractors, or balls. Nor do I share his introverted nature. Nor do I find myself in the 75th percentile for height. Given all these differences, it’s easy to occasionally wonder if he’s really mine and to be doubly surprised when a commonality emerges. This week, I was amused to see two make themselves known.

For one, bless his heart, the kid is wild for shoes, and that is something I understand all too well. Until this spring, Simon never seemed to notice what was on his feet. Sometime in March or April we took him to get new sneakers, and suddenly the boy had opinions and was not afraid to express them. He let us know which shoes he liked, he squealed with delight when we bought them, and he proudly carried the shopping bag out of the store like a veteran of retail therapy.

This Saturday, I ran out a for a bit and came home with two pairs of new shoes: a pair of embellished metallic flat sandals for me (very on trend!)  and a pair of Ecco fisherman’s sandals for Simon (practical and cute). When I showed them to him, his eyes lit up, his voice turned again to a squeal, and before I could finish asking him if he wanted to try them on, he was sitting down and trying to pull off his old shoes as fast as possible to make way for the new, which were quickly pronounced both “pretty” and “cool.” He could barely walk for looking down to admire them. I logged quite some time admiring my new sandals, too.

Then today, on Mother’s Day, we went out to Ce Fiore for some yummy frozen yogurt. We got Simon the acai berry, assuming it was the flavor he’d like best. I was not at all surprised when he dug his spoon into my serving of green tea flavored frozen yogurt, but I was shocked when he kept reaching over to enjoy mine at the expense of his. I had to eat fast to make sure I’d get some!

I have no idea what else the two of us will share. He’s showing an interest in the garden just as I’m getting the bug, he’s intuitively interested in and gentle with animals, and he loves family gatherings. Whatever else emerges-or doesn’t-it’s oddly comforting to know that we’ll always have a mutual appreciation for pretty shoes and green tea ice cream to look back on.

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