What do you do when your child turns out just like you?
When my son was born, everyone said, “He looks just like his dad!” And my insides boiled, because I spent nine months looking like a stuffed sausage for that child. I even sacrificed my innie belly button. I wanted him to be my carbon copy.
Let’s back up, because you should know this about me: from a young age, I could be described as “hyper-sensitive.” I had a lot of emotions. In high school, I wrote poems about dying roses and dyed the tips of my hair black. Nowadays, I sob on the couch after a Cheerios commercial.
I really do cry a lot. Today, I cried saying the luncheon blessing at my father’s birthday party. Last week, I cried watching a Beyoncé music video—because I’m not Beyoncé. It’s not a question of why I cry or if I will cry, it is when and for how long.
My son is now 1 ½ years old, and I can see my error. The universe granted my impassioned wish: he is me. He cries when Mickey Mouse at the store doesn’t come home with us. He cries when I dance with him too long. He cries when I sing beautiful melodies at bedtime. He cries when forced into a crowd of more than three people.
Not coincidentally, this means I cry a bit more, as well. It has turned into a sort of mother-son bonding ritual: us covered in each other’s tears, trying to figure out why the other is upset. We do cuddle more often, and that is a plus.
People tell me his heightened emotional state is due to the “terrible twos,” and it will pass. That is deeply unsettling because…what’s my excuse?
Carrie Taylor is a native Texan and mother of one.