As I sat watching my son this morning, I couldn’t help but think of Harry Chapin’s lyrics. In Cat’s in the Cradle, he sings “My Boy Was Just Like Me.”
After preparing lunch for the two of us, strapping him into his booster seat, and presenting him with his favorite lunch, grilled cheese and sliced apples, I glanced towards the door that overlooks my hickory trees, my bird feeder, and the forest behind my home. To my delight, I noticed that all five of my deer had survived the hunting season and were paying my backyard a visit. I stood and watched them for a bit while Turtle, my son, enjoyed his lunch. When I sat back down at the table, I mentioned to him that I was looking at the deer. “Out.” “No son, eat your lunch.” “Out. Wanna look at deer.” “Eat.” “OUT!!”
Call me a softie. Call me what you will. I couldn’t keep the boy from looking at the deer. He made his way to the door and noticed one of the pretty ladies enjoying his apple core and peelings. “Deer.” “Yeah. Do you see the deer?” “Yeah.” Upon noticing more deer, he spun around to me. “Daddy, I see two deer!” His speech is getting more and more advanced each day. At present, two indicates plural. He’s not quite figured out that two is between one and three. To him, two means more than one.
We stared at the deer for a few moments. They played. They ate. They kicked at each other – they can be brutal at times. Eventually, I returned to my plate of celery, peanut butter, an apple and cheese. But not Turtle. He stood at the door watching the deer while I continued my meal. Finally, I had to force him to return to his seat and finish his lunch. But I couldn’t help but be impressed that just like his old man, he enjoys watching the wildlife. More and more each day, I realize that my boy is just like me.