In one of my favorite movies, Look Who’s Talking (don’t judge), the main character makes this remark: “You don’t know how confusing it is when someone you love so much looks like someone you hate.” I remember thinking how hard that must be. But Gage is his father’s clone, and that doesn’t bother me too much because it’s just Gage and how he looks. What has been really, really hard to take, especially recently, is that both boys have been acting and sounding exactly like their dad in ways that drive me mad. In ways that drove me mad throughout our entire 8 year relationship and 6 year marriage. How on earth do you deal with that? When the sounds of the voices, the kinds of things they say were the same kinds of things and sounds of things that literally made me want to scream throughout my entire 20s. I don’t want to squelch their personalities, and I know they will embody their dad in different ways throughout their lives, but at the same time it makes my skin crawl, and I have to bite my tongue to keep myself from saying something scathingly harsh.I’ve always tried to have no regrets. To be okay with the past and the paths I have taken. It has all led me to where I am. But sometimes the reality of it can be overwhelming, conflicting. The reality that they will always say things like their dad. They will always sound like him. He is part of them, and I know there is good that comes from that. Despite the parts that make me want to run screaming. I know this when I can see past the fog of anger that sometimes still descends. I know this when I drop them off, and they run across the lawn yelling his name, lunging for a hug. I know this when he carefully carries them out to the car still half asleep.
Remembering this in the moments they become him, those moments that are too familiar, will always be the challenge.