Another time, Shawn and I were visiting with Spence's violin teacher. We were telling her how annoying it got during his practices sometimes because if he couldn't master something immediately and play it perfectly, he would just get frustrated and want to give up. She said, "Which one of you is a perfectionist?" I looked quizzically at her like, "Why would he have to get that from one of us?!" Shawn looked at me like, "Really?! Are you seriously that un-self-aware?!" Oh. Yeah. I guess that's me.
Worst yet: Shawn had terrible feet problems as a boy. He had to wear corrective shoes until he was in the sixth grade. His feet would curl under and he couldn't even walk across the room as a toddler without falling down. So, when Spence was born with simple- and complex-syndactyly* of his feet, well, I didn't breed with the best genetic stock... Then I broke my toe and our friend Kyle took an x-ray for us. As we all gathered around his desk waiting for his esteemed, professional diagnosis of my toe he said, "Yep. You broke it. But, huh. Your pinky toe's all [messed] up. (And no. Kyle did not say "messed". Rude.) The bones are fused together." Shawn and I both exchanged looks. His said, "Uh huh. I knew you always thought it was my fault." Mine that said, "Oh my gosh - I am SO sorry! I always thought it was your fault!"
Oh yeah, Shawn?! Well... he got your eyelashes. So, there.
It is such a beautiful thing when you see the positive traits you've passed on to your children. And, it is so, so humbling otherwise.
*In complex syndactyly, the bones of adjacent digits are fused.