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Why I Wish My Son Wasn't Just Like Me

Photograph by Kristel Acevedo

When my son was born, I took one look at him and declared him my twin. I wasn't the only one who thought so. Everyone who saw him marveled at how much he looked like me. Comparing our baby pictures even further confirmed our physical similarities.

As my son has grown, it's become clear that we not only share many of the same physical attributes, but personalities as well. This is a great thing for me as a mother because I can often understand where he's coming from and how he'll react to certain situations. Most of the time I can deal with his quirks and idiosyncrasies because they're the same ones I deal with in my own life everyday. But then there are times when I see my son behaving in the same way I would (or at least would have at his age) and it troubles me.

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I want to tell him it's not worth it to be upset over the small unpleasant situation that transpired because it's out of our hands.

I want to tell him it doesn't matter what other people think because he's a great kid just as God made him.

I want to teach him how to keep his emotions in check, because while he may be justified in feeling upset/hurt/angry/sad, it's not always appropriate or helpful to have an emotional outburst.

Maybe he has to go through all the difficulties to become a better man. Maybe he has to learn from his own mistakes rather than my own.

I want to tell him it's OK to raise your hand and have all eyes on you.

I want to tell him that big slide really isn't so scary.

I want to tell him he shouldn't miss out on the fun of life because of fear of the unknown.

It pains me to know that my son may struggle with many of the things I struggled with growing up. I wish I could make him skip all that drama and come out on the other side a better person than I am.

But maybe that's the point.

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Maybe he has to go through all the difficulties to become a better man. Maybe he has to learn from his own mistakes rather than my own.

All I can do is breathe and trust the process. I can do my best to guide him and offer advice and tips. And then I just have to stand back as he navigates life. Do I wish he hadn't inherited my bad temper and volatile emotions? Of course. But he's still a pretty amazing boy.

I admire and adore him in many ways and accepting him just as he is also helps me to accept myself. I've learned a lot about myself by mothering this boy and I think we'll both grow and become even better people in the years to come.

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