. . . just like me.

Ryan and Nolan played basketball in the driveway. I had my PowerBook on the breakfast table, and I caught bits of their conversation through the open window as I worked.

". . . a freshman?" Ryan said.

"Yeah," Nolan said.

"What’s her –" A car drove up the street, and drowned Ryan out.

Her? My parental spideysense switched on, but I tried to stay focused on my work.

"That’s cool." I thought. "I shouldn’t be listening to their conversation, anyway."

For the next several minutes, I couldn’t hear anything but the bounce of the ball, and then "Brick!" from Nolan as the ball bounced off the backboard, and landed beneath the kitchen window. Ryan walked over to pick it up.

" . . . is so freakin’ hot," Nolan said.

"Yeah," Ryan said as he picked up the ball, "but she’s not your type. She’s a geek, just like me."

I looked out the window. Did he see me? No. He tossed the ball back to Nolan.

"Your ball," he said.

I closed my Powerbook and watched them play in the fading afternoon sunlight. I saw that Ryan was wearing a Mozilla T-shirt.

. . . just like me.

37 thoughts on “. . . just like me.”

  1. That’s so sweet. If ever I have kids I hope its like that. You’ve got a way with them Wil. Anytime I read these posts about your kids I smile. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Great post Wil. Being a parent is a great experience. (single parent here)
    I look forward to your third book.
    Still going to pick up the first two. When i thought you were writing a kids book, I thought you meant an ACTUAl children’s book.
    Like mr. panda meets mr. sunshine or something like that. Ever think about writing an actual children’s book?
    I would definitely buy it and read it to my soon to be 5 yr old. (next month)

  3. As a parent, I totally get that. Very cool. Never did find out what girl they were talking about, huh? Probably best!
    I have two kids but they’re only 3 and 18 months right now so I’m (hoping) we have a ways to go before the whole dating thing comes into play. But already, 3-year-old Dylan is taking after his daddy, obessed with cars (primarily Corvettes, GTOs and older Camaros) and the Ramones. Yes, already.
    My 18-month-old, Natalie is primarily in love with Captain Feathersword (The Wiggles) but I can tell she’s gonna take after me. She’s a hell of a stubborn girl and she’s obsessed with rummaging through our food pantry and making a beer-a-myd out of warm cans of Miller Lite. Not sure what that says about me, though. It’s all good. :)

  4. and stop referring to them as your ‘stepkids’ – it has the sense that they are not quite ‘accepted’ by you. (which i know is not true)
    it’s like them calling you their ‘stepdad’ instead of ‘Wil’ (or if they were younger ‘Pa’)
    or being called ‘Lachance’ or ‘Chambers’ or ‘Wheaton’ – it has that feeling of being separated, not included.

  5. I have one son, 2 and a half…and another on the way sometime in December. I absolutely love being a parent but I still have much envy for anyone who can legitemately lay claim to having passed something on.
    In a thousand years, nothing that any of us does is going to matter a damned. But I tell ya…in moments like those, you universe stands still and I love it when it happens.
    It is my power-pellet, it is my kryptonite.

  6. As simple a post as it was, the beauty of it is in said simplicity. This is easily one of my favorite posts that I have read on your site.
    Amazing what you hear when you take the time to listen, eh?

  7. Well just turn my heart into putty. That was an awesome post and an even more awesome mentality. More kids need a dad like you, eavesdropping included ^-^

  8. Awesome. I’m a step-parent as well, with a wife who’s older than I. So, I inherited a family and I’ve got a geek in training too. He’s six and types at about 35 wpm. Oh, and he’s my step-grandson. I’m 34 and my stepchildren range from 19-33. The youngest was 13 when I started dating my wife. I’ve always avidly read your entries relating to step-parenthood (which is a horrible label, already relegating you to a second-string status which can be soooo far from the truth. It’s the front-line and it’s not for sissies) and can’t wait for the next book! “You want kids with that?” is obviously the result of the telepathic requests that I’ve been beaming in your direction….thanks

  9. It’s always great to see your bits of yourself in your children.
    But it is pure magic to see yourself in your step-children.
    I share your joy.

  10. *ahem*
    Those of us with two girls as opposed to two boys are feeling a tad on guard right now.
    I find it tremendously funny the difference that I read in that story… I actually had to read it twice in order to see the humor intended :)
    I read the part “… is so freakin’ hot,” and my spidey-sense kicked in too. But for a whole different reason. Weird.
    Oddly enough tho’ , once I finished it the second time, I found myself wishing for a son. Hmm. I gotta go talk to my wife :)

  11. Hey wil,
    Totally separate to the topic of this entry…
    Did you ever post a solution to the playfair puzzle that you had on buzznet. (just asking cos its 8 months now and no one has posted an answer!)

  12. Oh Wil, they really do grow up so fast. I love when you share things about your family. It’s just enough, never too much information and really heartwarming.

  13. Thanks for summing it up nicely. It’s quiet moments like that the kids aren’t even aware of, that make it all worthwhile. It seems like they don’t listen or absorb most of what you tell them. But somehow when you’re not even looking, they morph into a better versions of us.

  14. HAHAHA, at least it isnt an everquest tshirt! i actually found my non-geek self wearing an intel inside windows xp tshirt the other day… where the heck did that come from!?!

  15. I am relatively new here, so this may have been discussed before: Your kids are named Nolan and Ryan? I take it you are a baseball fan or is that just a coincidence

  16. Oh that so sweet.
    I have 2 step kids a girl who will be 14 tomorrow and towers over me at 5’10” and boy 12 1/2.
    Then my DH and I have a girl almost 9 and Boy almost 7.
    I caught myself half listening a few times to the older ones. It was a shock at first much so cute after I started to listen a bit. They do grow up fast. Pretty soon i’ll have to worry about boys talking that way about my baby girl, she already has boy crazy tendencies LOL.
    who would have thought it would start so early LOL
    BTW its nice to hear about others who talk about their steps like they are their own. I know I love mine just the same as the 2 I gave birth too.

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