New parents wonder what their babies will grow up to be like. What type of big people these little people will become. Thankfully (or maybe not so much), you don’t have to look much further than the dinner table to piece together the genetic puzzle.

Will he have his dad’s serious and driven nature?
Will he be gregarious and altruistic like his mom?

Of course you want a perfect blend that includes all of the best and none of the worst less desirable traits. The reality is, your cute little kiddo’s personality will fall somewhere in between. And that’s a good thing.

You see glimpses all the time. In the playroom, he might furrow his brow as he works out a problem. (Serious.) Or in the sandbox, he might unselfishly share his shovel with a fellow digger. (Altruistic.)

I had the pleasure of seeing into my son’s future, just a little bit, at an Arizona Diamondbacks game of all places.

During our usual midgame diversion, we headed upstairs to The Sandlot, a kids haven that includes a batting cage (not yet, son), a toddlers playground and Baxter’s Den. When the den is not in use, it’s roped off by a retractable belt barrier.

My son started playing with the stanchions (who wouldn’t?) and noticed that one was wobbly. He grabbed on tight, near the top, to keep it from swaying. I went about my business of watching him with one eye and following the game with the other.

After a minute or so, my boy hadn’t moved from his post. I have to be honest, I was grateful that he was staying in one spot and being good, rather than running around and forcing me to chase him all over Section 332.

A few more minutes passed, and I became aware that he probably wasn’t going to budge. This kid, standing ever so silently and still, holding onto a pole, amid a blur of activity.

Finally, I crouched down to his level, looked him in the eyes and said, “Do you want to go do something else?”


His shoulders relaxed. His relief had no hint of What took you so long, Dad? I grabbed hold of the stanchion and assured him that it wasn’t going to fall down. He took off doing what kids do at major league stadium kids play areas.

How long would he have stood there, holding that piece of metal—AND NOT COMPLAINING ONE BIT TO ANYONE, like some Buckingham Palace guard—had I not relieved him of his duties? And more compelling, what was I seeing in him? Loyalty? Dependability? Determination? Steadfastness? Trustworthiness? Yes to all of the above. It blew me away.

This 2-year-old saw something that needed doing and quietly did what was in his power to do it.

Like father, like son.

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