When Mo was born, he came into the world with the same head of hair as his daddy - that is to say, he was completely bald.
And he didn't really start growing hair until he turned two years old. We even joked about costuming the CDR as Dr. Evil and Mo as Mini-Me for Halloween. My husband and son were identical, but for the fact that one was 34 years younger and several pant sizes smaller.
Fast forward three years. I'm walking into church this morning with Mo holding my left hand, and my younger son Kel holding my right. As we approach the steps, I can practically feel my husband's presence, as though he were walking right there beside me.
Then I realize that my memory has a definitive flash-point. As he nervously clutches my hand in that crowded room, Mo is fiddling with my wedding ring in exactly the same manner that his father does when he reaches for my left hand.
This has happened before. Mo recently became afraid of the dark, and he is convinced that the "bad guys" are going to come into our house at night and hurt us.
Thank you ever so much, parents of the other preschooler at daycare who let their child see The Dark Night in the movie theatre and whose child has now taught my son all about how bad guys beat the good guys into a bloody pulp. I'm not one to judge other parental methodologies, but seriously. Are you nuts?
Anyway, back to my story. Because Mo is so frightened at night, he often asks me to snuggle in bed with him before he falls asleep. Judge me if you like, but I often indulge this desperate request. As I climb into his twin bed and lay beside him, Mo always flips onto his back and stretches his arm across the pillow so that I can rest in the crook of his little shoulder, then strokes my hair as he whispers himself into peaceful sleep...
This is exactly the way that his father snuggles me in the sweet, soft darkness of our bedroom at night.
It may sound a little creepy, I know. But I actually find it inspiring. My good friend Nell once told me that she was proud to have little boys, if only so she could raise them to become smart, strong, and loving men like her amazing husband. The world needs more men like him, she said.
I totally agree. The world needs more men like my husband, too. And if these instinctive - and apparently genetic - habits of Mo's are any indication, I suspect I'm on the right track in raising my son to be just like his daddy.