Every now and then, I see evidence that my son—for all his strong physical resemblence to my side of the family—is really his father's child.
"If you can practice reading to yourself in the mornings, I'll let you stay up a half hour later with a reading light after Elizabeth goes to bed," I told Joseph while tucking him in.
"Really?" His eyes lit up. "Can I have a blue light that clips on to my book?"
"And I can stay up even though Elizabeth has to sleep?"
"That's the plan!" I could see his mind working in the set of his face and the way his eyes slanted sideways.
"What if I do math instead?"
"What?" The question took me by surprise.
"What if I learn to do my math more quietly and in my head. Can I stay up a half hour and do math problems?"
"Uh…" I searched for an answer when all I really wanted to ask was why on earth would someone want to do that. "I guess so." I paused but couldn't help myself. "Why would you want to do math problems before bed?"
He shrugged, "I like math."
"But wouldn't you rather read a book?"
"I can do either one, but if I want to do math, can I do that?"
"Of course." I mentally reminded myself that I was supposed to be encouraging math and science in my children in spite of my personal aversion to numbers and their confusing tendency to join each other and divide from each other.
"I'll practice!" Joseph said with a smile on his face. I kissed him and turned out the light thinking, not for the first time, he truly is his father's son.