Hello, do I know you?

The Ginger Ninja turns seven today!

The Ginger Ninja turns seven today!

This is my Ginger Ninja, and today he turns seven. Happy birthday son, I love you to the moon and back, and round the paddock a few times to boot!

He’s a wonderful kid, my boy, but there are times he’s about as different to me as I could imagine. Sometimes I struggle getting into his head, struggle to understand how he ticks, what motivation he needs, why he thinks the way he does.

Now, if I had a scanner and a few spare hours to go hunting through old family photos (neither of which I actually have) I would show you a picture of my husband when he was in kindergarten. Same hair. Same freckles. Same cheeky smile. When I remember this all the pieces suddenly click into place for me: I gave birth to a clone of my husband.

A friend of mine once told me that she had so many fights with her husband, didn’t understand him one bit, completely tried to turn him into another version of her–until she gave birth to a son just like him.

I get that. I’d never tried to change my husband, but boy her words helped me understand my son. And my daughter (my me-clone), and my youngest son (another version of me). And because of this I understand myself–my motivations, my reactions, my fears and my disappointments–better as well.

Sometimes I think this is the real benefit of having children: if we let them teach us, we can become better versions of ourselves.

How about you? Have you ever noticed your own personality–for better or for worse–reflected in your kids? Have you ever understood your partner better, or your parents, because of your kids?