“I yam what I yam.” Popeye the Sailor (Elzie Crisler Segar)
Randomly, I like to tell stories that have nothing to do with anything. This is one of those stories…
Several years ago, when I first dabbled with the idea of having a child, I always imagined that God would give me a girl with long straight brown hair, a tall graceful ballerina-type physique, and a face with skin so flawless that it would never be necessary for her to touch it up with makeup. She was to have a beautiful voice, a natural confidence in herself in any situation, and she would never, ever, pretend to be something that she was not. In other words, she would be–and was supposed to be–the exact opposite of me.
And then…I had Julian. Now that my son is all of nine years old, he is, pretty much, the exact replica of me. Same hair, same face, same features. We even have the same odd sense of humor, and what I like to call “unique and special behaviors” that make us different from others around us. Like the way I sometimes mindlessly sing sentences to people I’m comfortable with, instead of speaking to them. I’ve noticed that Julian often does the same thing with me…although I don’t think, at this age, that he even notices what he’s doing.
The key right now, with us being the same (ignoring the fact that I am nearly forty-seven years old and he’s only nine) is that we are, currently, the exact same size. He can wear my clothes, and I can wear his. The boots he’s about to grow out of, fit me. The coat that I bought for him–so stylish and comfy–now lives in my closet. And it’s not uncommon for people to point at us at his school while exclaiming: “OMG! He’s as tall as you are!” At first I found it annoying, the two of us being the same size, but now I think about it as sort of a convenience. I just need to make sure that I start buying him some really cool, stylish, amazing new clothes.
“Mom? Isn’t that my vest?”
“Your name was supposed to be Izzy, you know. Well, Izabella, but Izzy for short.”
“Yes,” I nodded, “you were supposed to be a girl. I was in shock for weeks after they told me that you were a boy.”
“What are you talking about?” he groaned, tugging on the zipper of his vest that was hanging on my body.
“Not that it mattered,” I shooed his hand away. “Everyone thought that you were a girl for at least the first two years. Partially, because of your delicate features, but mostly because of the way I dressed you…pretty pastels, soft fuzzy textures, even matching hats, mittens and accessories!”
“You dressed me like a girl?”
“That’s why I drank those fizzy Izze drinks. Thought that if I couldn’t give birth to an Izzy, that I might as well just change courses and drink one.”
Julian paused. Then, finally…”Mom? You’re weird.”
“Yes, I know. That happens sometimes. Age, genetics…who knows where it all comes from. Still love me?”
His eyebrows went up. His head, tilted. I could see that he was deep in thought.
“Is that a no?” I asked.
“It’s a probably,” he shrugged, then grinned. “It’s a probably, yes.”
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Photos on Visual hunt. Umbrella photo by It’sGreg on VisualHunt / CC BY-ND.