Overheard at the breakfast table, “My favorite Star Wars character is the opposite of Darth Vadar.”
I saw my husband’s face light up as the words came out of our daughter’s mouth. He had successfully passed on his love of Star Wars and he was about to be the proudest Dad ever when she would finally reveal who her favorite character was. My son looked on and chomped on his toast. “Yoda?” he asked, which would have been my guess, too. My son and I are the most alike of the four of us. From our love of music to our inability to sit still, the two of us often find ourselves on one side of the conversation while the other two remain on the other. “No, not Yoda.”
“Obi-Wan Kenobi?” my husband asked. Another great guess. The two of them bit into their oranges and shared a look that only they understand while my son and I sort-of stopped paying attention. I went to grab my camera. He went to look at a piece of paper on the floor. My husband and daughter kept going. “Chewbacca?” “Han Solo?” “Leia?” All wrong answers. “You’re getting colder!” she said.
I grabbed the chair I had been sitting on and pulled it around behind them, climbing up and straining my arms forward as the weight of my camera hovered above the conversation. Will was back in his chair and I was back in mine (in a sense) and we were both back to listening as the other two hashed it all out.
Seeing the parts of us that are different and the parts of us that are alike is something that constantly baffles me. My daughter looks just like me, but her personality is more like my husband. They are clever and efficient, hardworking and funny. They get their homework done before it’s due. They do things the right way the first time. My son looks just like my daughter, but also just like my husband – which confuses me, but makes me happy all the same. He and I have trouble getting the task accomplished unless we believe wholeheartedly in it. We avoid doing the thing we’re supposed to do until the last minute. We daydream a lot. We have trouble not standing on our chairs. I think it’s because of this that our family has teamed up with everyone having a clear “buddy,” but that there’s no question to any of us that we all love each other the same.
“Do you give up?” she asked. We did. “Anakin Skywalker. He’s the opposite of Darth Vader and he’s my favorite.” I would have never guessed, but my husband gave a knowing smile to her. “You’re right,” he said. “Good one.” I climbed down from my chair and my son and I shrugged at each other. I gave my girl a kiss on the head and told her I loved her. “I know, Mom,” she said. I might not ever know the right answers for her – or for any of them for that matter, but I’m glad I know enough about loving them to make up for it.