I had never compared a photo of my father, and one of myself, at similar age. It’s uncanny how much we are alike. Actually, the first pix was scratched into a sheet of plastic and then inked and printed. I really can’t draw.
My parents were older when I was born, so I remember them as middle-aged. My advice is to have children when the parents are young. I think mine were “pooped out on parenthood” by the time I came along, resulting in freedom for me, but also some neglect. My father was a classic Asperger-Engineer which was bad for my brother: they had little in common and my father had relentlessly high expectations. My father’s social weirdness was so familiar to me (dare I say “normal?) and I could handle his changes in mood. Loving, friendly one moment; a stranger the next. Intuitively I understood that somehow this wasn’t intentional and in the long run, his honesty and loyalty were more important. And of course I was so much like him; how could I be too critical?
Aspergers have an asset that they may not consider: In relationships, it’s possible to understand behavior as a “field” and not as points, or negative and positive directions on a graph. This is the strength of intuitive analysis; much less judgmental, and more realistic, than is formal analysis. Often I have to remind myself of this: hard edges can be seductive to the analytical brain. But it feels so good to take off the chains and let the world speak for itself.