Elliot glared at me from across the kitchen. “I WANT cereal.” he bit out, seething. We’d been going back and forth about his tone of voice and morning attitude of late. I was trying to keep my calm – I really was.
“Don’t you look at me like that…” he said, just like I would. And that is when I snapped. I gave him an earful and I just hope one day it sinks in. I feel like each day’s lessons are erased after a night’s sleep. He wakes the next day with no prior knowledge of how to behave.
“You’re almost seven years old, buddy. This has got to stop.”
“I know! But I don’t know how!”
This bothers me more than anything; it’s all impulse. And the worst part is that I can see so much of myself in him. I was that kid – sometimes – who fought just to fight, who tried to win the conversation, not realizing I was actually in a lot of trouble. And I never knew when to shut up. Pair that with a lot of rage and a complete lack of patience and he an I are identical.
In the end, I made him recount what he did wrong – which is super hard, I know – and we hugged. I love that kid fiercely but he pushes me to my absolute limits. For me, it’s this collective realization that he is no longer the laid back baby he once was but is growing into a boy. And it’s not the boy things that annoy me – not the armpit fart sounds or the climbing doorways or the crack running through his veins, causing him to bounce off walls. It’s just the incredible likeness to myself, the mirror image staring back at me, showing me my faults, that kills me, every day.