When Riley holds my hand, he rubs my cuticles with his fingers. I can't stand it. It makes me feel sick to my stomach. But I never tell him to stop because John did the same thing. Mindlessly, abstractly, he'd rub his fingers over that tough meeting point between nail and skin, despite the fact that I'd told him a million times how it made me feel. Such an odd habit, odder still that Riley would share it with his father.
At the risk of sounding like a total nutter, when I was a child, I told my life as a story in my head as it was happening. I was some kind of omniscient narrator, observing myself and making commentary, as though I were a character in a book. In fact, I was a character. I gave myself a completely different name—Ginny—and as I'd move through life, I'd keep up the interior narration, in the form of mental comments such as, "Ginny felt nervous about moving into the room," or "Ginny would have preferred to have something else for dinner." In my mind's eye, I was a contemporary of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
To add to this oddness, I find that on occasion, I still do this now, and have done so all my life, although never, ever aloud. Maddie's been doing the same thing for a few months now, only she vocalizes her narration. Her name is Lizzie, and she's given Riley an alter-ego, too: Barry. Those of you familiar with the Barenstain Bears* might recognize that those are the names of Brother and Sister Bear's cousins (best friends? I dunno.) "'Hop on my trike, Barry!' Lizzie exclaimed," Maddie will holler as she tears down the hall. Or I'll hear her over the monitor in the morning, "'I'll wear a dress today,' said Lizzie."
These are not the ways I thought I would see myself, or John, in our children.
*I hate those god-damn bears.