My wife and I have an ongoing debate about who our oldest daughter takes after.
Physically it's a no brainer.
My wife is stunningly beautiful; or as my 3 year old would say, "stumming". She has long dark hair, eyes as dark as a moonless sky and she carries herself with the poise of a runway model.
She wins that one.
Temperament however, is the real point of contention.
My daughter is short on patience. She gets frustrated very easily and she likes to yell.
The two of them fight constantly about everything under the sun. They fight about clothing. They spar about food. They bicker about homework. They even argue about arguing.
They seem to feed off of each other.
Sometimes I think they should open a button pushing business.
I've heard this is pretty normal with mothers and daughters. I hear about it all the time from friends that witness the same occurrence. I've watched a lot of hockey over the years and as a result, I've learned to get out of the way. It's easy to see that when you try and break up a scuffle, it's more than likely, you're going to get punched in the face.
Occupational hazard I suppose.
Even though the fighting makes it a bit tense from time to time, we have a pretty good rhythm in the house and it's clear that we all adore one another. Most of the time.
When it comes to the similarities between my daughter and myself, it becomes a bit more complicated in some areas.
There are a few things that are painstakingly obvious.
We both love to be the center of attention. No spotlight is too bright. No stage too big.
We are both silly. We love to goof around. We love to ham it up.
We both have a very short attention span. We're pretty smart but we have trouble sticking with one thing for too long. We use boredom as an excuse but it's deeper than that.
Neither of us know how to listen. We love to talk but we hate to listen. We're really good at making you think we're listening but we're really just thinking about talking.
We are both control freaks. We are truly convinced that no one can do anything as well as we can. We qualify this as leadership.
As a parent, there is the selfish part of me that wants my kid to grow up to be just like her Dad.
Then there is the part of me that is terrified of my baby girl inheriting all of my shit.
The way I see it, most of it is poison.
Over the years, I have come to discover that I am broken. Broken to the point of which I thought I could not be fixed. The kind of broken that you can only see from the inside. All of the spotlights, all of the silliness, all the goofing around and all of the leadership...
All just decoys.
Impostors, masquerading as something else to hide the brokenness underneath it all.
So to see myself, any part of myself, festering in my little baby, makes me weary.
I've wrestled with my demons. I've done my best to protect the ones I love from them.
I've been sick but I didn't think I was contagious.
My traits are not the cause of my pain. They are only a symptom.
I am not a Doctor. My daughter is not my patient and this is far from a diagnosis.
Most parents can lovingly stare into their child's eyes and take pride in seeing a bit of themselves staring back at them.
I just get scared.
I've been doing a shitload of demon slaying as of late and for now I seem to be winning the battle.
As soon as I build the moat to protect my own castle, I'll turn my attention to protecting the princess from the demons that inevitably will try to scale those castle walls...
I hope she takes after her mother...