Wednesday, September 10, 2008
When do your children begin to remind you of your parents? When do you look at the man your son has become and catch a glimpse of your father? Hear your mother's laugh ringing out again in your daughter's amused voice?
I adore my kids. That's pretty obvious, I'm sure, from some of my posts.
This summer, all together in the same place, I got to watch them with kids of their own. What surprised me were the flashbacks they produced.
As I watched my son, Joe, on a beach with Iris, his youngest, I remembered another beach many years ago where my dad was showing his grandson how to scoop sand in a bucket and encounter the ocean surf for the very first time. Suddenly, Iris was her father, a chubby two-year-old with a curiosity for the water. And Joe was looking more and more like my dad.
It seemed so odd to be having those thoughts. And, yet, it seemed so right. The tides never stop. Why should I think that time is any different?
I drove Joe crazy, taking pictures of him, trying to capture the man he had become who resembled my dad so much. We see each other maybe once or twice a year and my son's maturity was something I never thought about until this summer. He is now a father and husband with some history under his belt, a doctor and a settled member of his community. He has moved on with his life, and so have I.
Still ... I will always treasure that windy day on a Jersey beach, watching my dad introduce him to the water and the sand.