Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Irrational Exuberance

Dylan is growing up so fast. It's hard to keep up with him, here and around the house.

Before we adopted, I thought I'd miss not having a kid who inherited my biological traits and tendencies. Something that surprises me is how delightful I find many of the ways Dylan is different from me. One simple example is that I am definitely NOT a morning person. I set my alarm at least 20 minutes early because I know I will need to hit the snooze button a few times. (Praise my understanding bed-mate!) Once I finally do manage to throw off the covers, I typically trudge heavy-footed and sleepy-eyed around the house. My assistant at work could probably tell you I'm not very friendly, or even communicative, until about 10 a.m.

My son, on the other hand, usually wakes up with a huge, sunny smile. When I come into his room, he's often already dancing at the rails of his crib. He's most cooperative and easy-going in the three hours or so before his late-morning nap.

Fortunately, Dylan's sunny disposition in the a.m. is having a positive influence on me. I now look forward to his greeting each morning, and especially to a few moments of snuggling in bed with him and his daddy before starting the rush of the day.

Though I am a generally happy person, and I was even voted "Most Optimistic" by my high school class, it would be a real stretch to describe my personality as "bubbly." But that's what Dylan is.

He just exudes joy.

And I just love that about him. Yes, some of it is undoubtedly typical toddler energy. But I think there's more to it than that. I think he inherited much of his exuberance from V. But sadly, as M's observed, a hard life has already dulled much of her shine.

It is one of my greatest hopes and challenges as a parent to help Dylan preserve his wonderful, positive disposition. I hope he won't become world-wary, and that there will always be great, unstifleable joy in his life.

(Of course, I don't expect that it will always be running around half-naked with a toothbrush that will bring on such irrational exuberance...At least I hope not.)

If you have kids who were adopted, how are they like and dissimilar from you? How do you feel about it?


Anonymous said...

Love this post. Can't address it yet from the perspective of an adoptive parent, but I think all parents may be able to relate to a portion of this. I'm the bright sunny one in the morning. Bean and her dad. Dear God, sometimes it is okay, other times I think about IV coffee for both of them. No, I'd never do it, but the idea is interesting. We must connect sometime soon. I have questions!

Becky said...

I just discovered your blog and love the fun stories about Dylan =) My husband and I have a little guy that's about to turn one (WHAT?! One?! Already?!) this month. We are fortunate to have an open adoption with his birth family and brought him straight home from the hospital. I have yet to think about the similarities/differences in terms of personality... I'll have to ponder that! Physically, many people say he looks like my husband, and I never know how to respond. Looking for physical similarities between he and us is so far off my radar that I'm always taken aback when someone mentions it. I look forward to reading more about your cute family!