Jon's long-time friend Sara Foss writes a newspaper column in my old home town. Recently the family stopped by for a visit, and ended up featured in the latest Foss Forward. Having given Jon ample time to post about it himself, I'm breaking the news here, along with some of my favorite excerpts. :)
[M]y friend Jon; his pregnant wife, Heather; and their three young children — ages 2, 4 and 7 — visited my home in Albany.
Naturally, I was all freaked out about having a bunch of kids descend upon my one-bedroom apartment, which lacks toys, children’s books and games. I did run out and buy pretzels and graham crackers, so that they could have a snack, but for the most part I felt woefully unprepared to entertain my young visitors.
Fortunately, the New York State Museum is right around the corner, and after a brief stint in my apartment, in which the girl played with my collection of turtle knickknacks (I even filled a bowl with water so that she could watch the plastic wind-up turtle paddle around) and her brothers improvised a game of darts in the bedroom, we headed up the street. I suspected the kids would enjoy riding on the carousel, looking at gems and stuffed animals and playing on the computers in the Discovery Room, and I was right.
In truth, I never should have worried about whether I would be able to entertain Jon’s family for an afternoon.
I’ve known Jon since I was 2, and I sensed that his kids were a lot like him — curious, imaginative, friendly, eager to do new things and see new places. What I enjoyed most about them was how well they played on their own; I didn’t have to worry about entertaining them because they entertained themselves. In fact, it seemed like they had just as much fun running up and down the sidewalk and jumping in snowbanks as hanging out in the museum, and their antics reminded me a bit of how Jon and I used to play in the snow when we were kids.
The subject of the article is the habit people have of comparing children, especially babies, with their parents: "He sure looks like his mom"; "That's Uncle Frank's nose"; "She walks just like her father." Sara would agree with Porter's mother, who always insisted, "They look like themselves."
I'll admit to playing the game, including very recently with Joseph, who I think looks very much like his dad from the nose up and his mom from the nose down—based on baby pictures of both.
Jon’s older boy had always struck me as very Jon-like — highly verbal at a young age, interested in puzzles and games, etc. — but now I see more of his mother in him, especially in his face.
I remarked upon this, and Jon said that when they visit his hometown, everyone comments on how much the older boy looks like him — “It’s Jon!” — while Heather’s relatives and friends always note his resemblance to her.
The younger boy did look a lot like Jon, as well as Jon’s brothers, while I had a tough time figuring out exactly who the girl reminded me of, if anyone.
Here's my contribution to the debate about Jonathan. To be fair, I need a similar photo of Jon; it's hard for those of us who didn't know him as a blond boy not to be influenced by hair color. And I would be remiss if I did not point out that "highly verbal at a young age, interested in puzzles and games, etc." is also a fair description of Jonathan's mother. :)