The other day, nephew Matthew and wife Natalie were eating lunch together when Matthew piped up with, “do I look like Uncle Paul?”
They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. The little guy’s got glasses, wears a black ribbed turtle-neck sweater with jeans on the weekends (the Yuen-iform) with the rest of us and loves just about everything I do.
That being said, I constantly have to be careful of my attitudes and the words I speak because he is always right there to be a facsimile of me. I’ve been increasingly conscious of this so I’ve been praying with him more regularly, telling him truths about who he is in God’s eyes and how proud of him I am.
Sure, his eight-ness grinds on me from time to time… walking around the house, leaving his Matthew-trails around everywhere he’s been: toys, trading cards, clothes, fingerprints, paper, messes, etc. It’s a constant. So I’m always in the spot of deciding whether to try to help him learn to take care of his things himself or just pick up after him for my own sanity.
…then there’s that fine line of hypocracy. The moment I tell him that he’s going to start losing things he leaves out, he’ll point to my hat that’s been lying on the floor in the corner for three weeks, reminding me that I am more like an eight-year-old than I’d like to sometimes admit.
That being said, we ARE a lot alike, he and I. So, to hear him ask my wife if he looks like me was both flattering and endearing. Her response to him was something like, “well, you both wear glasses, have dark hair, enjoy similar things (80’s GI Joe figures, Tom & Jerry, drawing, robot video games, etc)…”
To which he responded with, “no, I mean like this…”
From there, he proceeded to get out of his chair and do the most ridiculous walk you’ve ever seen through the kitchen. It put John Clease’s “Ministry of Silly Walks” to shame.
Essentially, he was asking, “does this ridiculous action remind you of anyone we both know?”
Shh. Did you hear that? That’s the sound of me getting ripped on by someone so young, he still has to pee in the short urinal.