Still Here With Us….

I’m amazed at how much my children resemble their father. As a counselor, I have read many studies on the whole nature vs. nurture argument. If I looked solely at my children, however, I would say that nature is the dominating force in a child’s personality.

My oldest son, Cameron, was only 6 years old when his father was killed; he is now 13 years old. Steve was 15 years old when we met each other. It’s striking for me to look at Cameron and think that he’s just two years younger than his dad was when I met him. Not only does Cameron LOOK more like his dad the older he gets, but his personality is SO MUCH like him too! My son has a quirky sense of humor and is constantly making me laugh. He is a free spirited boy who doesn’t care what others think of him. He has his own sense of style and isn’t interested in what’s popular. These are all the same things that drew me to Steve when I was just a teenager myself (I was in the ninth grade when I met him). I can only think that these similarities are due to genetics since Steve hasn’t been here to influence Cameron as his personality has developed. It makes me smile every time he does something that reminds me of his dad because it’s as if Steve is still here with us.

My daughter, Caitlin, was only 3 years when her father died. She is now 10 years old and, although she looks more like me, she has a lot of her dad’s personality characteristics too. Caitlin has always been a fearless child. When she was little, she would scare me to death as she headed straight for the deep end of the pool! Now, as a competitive gymnast, she fearlessly does flips, jumps and various skills on the floor, beam and bars. As an 8 year old, she came home from our local amusement park to proudly announce that she had ridden all of the roller coasters (even some that are too scary for me)! These are exactly the kind of things that her father used to do. He loved roller coasters and anything else that would give him a thrill. For our fifth wedding anniversary, I surprised him with a ride in an open cockpit bi-plane. He loved it! Just like with Cameron, I can only attribute her personality to nature because her dad hasn’t been here to nurture her since she was a baby.

My little guy, Connor, is just developing his personality. Since he’s only 6 years old, it’s hard for me to see the resemblances between him and his dad. His grandparents, however, see many things in Connor that remind them of Steve. Connor loves to dress up as superheroes and his favorite toys are action figures. Cameron never dressed up and he played with legos and other building blocks, so he doesn’t get this from his big brother. According to Steve’s parents, however, Steve always dressed up as Batman and Superman when he was Connor’s age. They said his favorite pajamas were superhero and he would make them tie a blanket around his neck as a cape. Connor was born after Steve died so I think it’s pretty great that he likes the same things that his dad liked at his age.

My children are such a wonderful blend of me and Steve. I love how they all remind me of their dad, but in different ways. I look forward to seeing which personality characteristics they’ve inherited from him as they get older too. I know that he lives on in them and it always makes me smile.

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