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Who Does Kyle Favor More, Aunt Nikki?

Only an aunt can give hugs like a mother, can keep secrets like a sister, and share love like a friend.  ~Unknown

Kyle & his Aunt Nikki at Kyle’s First Holy Communion 3/2009

There are so many other instances in which Ryan was channeled through Kyle, but there are more noticeable ones between Aunt Nikki and Kyle.  The resemblance is borderline scary.

Kyle, mirroring his Aunt Nikki is not a new concept.  Actually, that’s an understatement.  We’ve been observing this behavior since Kyle was able to walk.  Even at a very young age he began to show his personality and specific traits.  These unique traits really stood out and continue to do so, giving us glimpses of who Kyle is going to be as time passes.  Unaware and unintentionally, Kyle has personified my sister, proven true time and time again.  Before I get into details, I do want to make note that Kyle is certainly his dad but really shares a resemblance to his Aunt Nikki, behaviorally and physically.

Let’s start at the beginning, puzzles.  Yes, those pieces of curvy cut cardboard containing sections of an image, to be put together by a patient soul, resulting in a complete picture.  Kyle has always loved puzzles!  From the time mom gave him his first small puzzle, he seemed to graduate to thousand piece sets by the age of three.  Kyle would sit there and put them together for hours until completion.  For the record, I want to say I hate puzzles, definitely not my bag but my sister has the patience for such entertainment.  At one point, Kyle referred to himself as “Puzzle Boy”.  While putting a puzzle together, as we all watched him because he expected us to, Kyle turned to my dad and said, “Look pap pap I’m puzzle boy!”  Way to cute! Later on, unbeknownst to us at the time, this behavior would escalate to Lego’s.

Nicole was not much of a builder like Kyle or Ryan, but just like puzzles she can figure out the pattern to put it back together.  She has the even temper to sit and sort out all the pieces and group them together for Kyle, acting as his assistant.  That’s one of the ways they enjoy spending time together.  Me?  Heck no!  I’ve tried to sit with Kyle and sort puzzle pieces and Legos and I’ve found out that I have no patience and no desire.  I enjoy watching Kyle’s progress and seeing his satisfaction of another job well done, as we all do, but to actually get into the thick of it, nope!  Nicole, Ryan and Kyle all have that engineering gene, which seems to run in mom’s side of the family.

Kyle loves his puzzles & Aunt Nikki is there to assist

Much like my sister, Kyle always did have an engineering mind.  He thinks things through and always tries to come up with a better solution to a product design.  Seriously?  Yes!  He tends to examine objects as if dissecting them to see how they work and how they would be better if designed differently.   I’ve heard Kyle countless times say, ‘It would be better if they just did it this way or do it that way’.  I wish I could remember an instance, but they are escaping me at the moment.

Going hand-in-hand with engineering is math.  Let’s just discuss Kyle’s love of math.  It’s always been his subject of choice and much like Nicole, they both love the structure of numbers.  As of now, Kyle has made known his talent for math and is proud of this skill.  They both appreciate art, but that’s clearly not their bag.  I tried for years and years to get Kyle into drawing and painting, nope.  It wasn’t who he was suppose to be, and I accept that.  He loves math!

Kyle and Nicole are both ‘play it by the rules’, ‘play it safe’ type of individuals.  Neither one physically can’t break the rules, literally, without being sick about it.  Once when Kyle and I were hiking up through the woods, we came across a No Trespassing sign.  He was probably four or so.  I knew the marker was placed there by my neighbors.  I also knew I was allowed on their property.  Kyle stood there, right below the sign and would not continue on our course of action.  In fact, Kyle usually never leaves my side, but this time he would not follow my lead.  It became a stand off, he wouldn’t cross the invisible line, made by the No Trespassing sign.  He just pointed to the instructions outlined on the white paper in bold black letters.  I laughed and challenged him.  On this particular walk, we brought our quads and parked them off the path before deciding to explore on foot.  As I disappeared into the thicket to try and pressure Kyle to follow, he turned around and headed back to his quad to wait for me.  He upheld the rules, no matter what!  What really cracks me up, is he wouldn’t stand there waiting for me, he wanted to sit down and wait.  Very Nicole!

Now don’t get me wrong, Ryan and I never completely disregard rules, but we didn’t hold them to our heart either.  Some rules are to protect us and our neighbors, and some rules have a little bit of wiggle room.  At least that’s how I view them.  I’ve always taught Kyle, if you choose to break the rules (ya right) know the rules and know the consequences to your actions.  If you get busted doing wrong, then you have to accept the punishment, no question.  That might not be a good thing to teach a child, but I also wanted Kyle to be able to think for himself and do what’s right, even if it is ultimately breaking rules.  Moral law is higher and more important than man made.

Neither one, Nicole or Kyle, are very adventurous.  Actually, I take that back, in recent times, Nicole has spread her wings and enjoys adventure.  Let’s not get silly, she is still a play-it-safe type of girl but she has enjoyed exploring new local fare, traveling and investing in new endeavors.  After all she is co-founder of The Piper Corporation, as well as SpyRing and Thrill of the Hunt.  A huge step for Nicole, heck a huge step for anyone, taking on entrepreneurship.  Kyle is part of the company too, after all he is our consultant.  However, at this point, he has the least to loose and participates the least.

Aunt Nikki helping our little Kyle with his boots.. his big toe was probably sticking up…

Making a decision doesn’t always come easy to Nicole or Kyle.  Sometimes it takes Nicole six years before she can make a decision and stick to it.  Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration but I’m not that far off the mark.  Example.  A little while after Nicole purchased her house, she wanted to change the colors of the walls.  Great!  I offered to help her pick out the paint and add the colors to the walls.  Sincerely, my plan was to wrap it up in a weekend, maybe come back the following weekend to touch up.  Friday night Nicole and I hit the paint store to pick out colors.  Rambling off what I think she should use for the trim, walls, and accent walls, I could tell Nicole was struggling with seeing my vision.  Instantly, Nicole became stressed and wouldn’t commit to anything.  Her solution?  She decided to purchase small samples of the colors as well as similar shades to see which one she liked the best.  Ok, I can live with that.  Once we got back to her place, Nicole had me paint large squares of colors on her one wall in the living-room.  Looked like a quasi Mondrian.  We both stepped back to examine our choices, and instantly I knew what colors would look great.  I was ready to go back to the store, get the supplies and begin work.  Nope, not Nicole.  She said, “Well, I don’t know.  Just wait, let me think about this!”  Stating a fact, I said, “Nicole I would rather get started on it tonight so we wrap this up by Sunday.”  She didn’t care.  Making a hard and fast decision was not going to happen.  I even tried to help her out by saying, “If you don’t like it, I will repaint it for you.”  Nope.  Still not budging.  Just like Kyle, holding strong to a decision until it has been thought through and through.  Do you know, it took her one full year to pick the colors for her living-room, dining-room and foyer?  It became a big joke.  Every time I would go and visit her, I would examine the large squares painted hap-hazardously on the wall and ask, “Nice artwork you got”.  That was usually replied with a grunt and a “Shut up!”.

Yes my sister is not the only one who sometimes has difficulty with making a decision.  It’s true, Kyle could care less about wall color, but ask him to pick one Lego off the shelf, forget it!  He will debate back and forth and even plan out the battles in his head, how he wants to play if choosing certain Lego sets.  Unbelievable!  The only reason he’s ever picked out a Lego set with me and fairly quickly might I add, because I have no patience for his deliberation and I force him to make a selection or we leave without a Lego.  That does it every time.

Enough with Kyle’s personality and intellectual DNA, let’s discuss physical traits.  Kyle and Nicole do resemble each other very much.  Again it helps with the blond hair and blue eyes, but they have the same body type, not even close to Ryan’s.  Nicole has never been much of an athlete.  In fact, I believe that was Nicole’s only subject in high school, which she did not excel.  Kyle, completely the same!  They even walk the same and move very slowly. Exactly the same way!

Aunt Nikki hanging with our little man at Chad’s Wedding

Once when Kyle and I were at the playground, mom commented to my dad, “Look Ron, here comes Heather and Nikki.”  referring to Kyle.  Just like my sister he walks a good ten paces behind me, so I have to crane my neck to have a conversation with either of them while on the go.  Let’s discuss when I slow down allowing each individual to catch up, they begin to slow down their pace.  Frustrating! But exactly the same!

Usually when I describe Kyle, I must say the words clunky, clumsy, and stiff roll from my lips.  He is not flexible at all.  At all!  Can you guess who else I might compare him to?  Yes, the one and only Aunt Nikki!  Again, neither are athletes by no means.  Both would be happy just sitting there either playing video games, reading (nothing wrong with that) or watching TV.  However, I will call out, again in recent years, my sister has explored her athletic abilities with hikes and such.  So I guess there is hope for Kyle.

Lastly, let’s discuss attire.  Presently this is not the case, but when Nicole was younger she always dressed sloppy, constantly walking around with stains on her shirt.  It took Nicole years before fashion sense was adopted into her daily life.  Again maybe there is hope for Kyle, because presently his outfits look like something picked as an after thought.  I’m not even talking about formal wear, even if his casual outfits were worn stylish I could certainly  live with that.   Of course, I guess I’m not necessarily talking about the actual clothing but the way it’s worn too.

Sometimes I may pick on Kyle but he is truly loved by all of us.  As I’ve told Kyle time and time again, “If you turn out to be half the person your Aunt Nikki is, your doing alright.”

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Who Does Kyle Favor More, His Dad?

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