Lately, I've been mindful of how my children are similar and not-so-similar to me and to my husband.
This week was Parent-Teacher conference time at Sam's school. As a first-grader, this is the first year that Sam has been in school all day and ultimately, spends the majority of his time with his classmates and his teachers. And, Sam is indeed (like me) a classic first born. He is very mindful of how he appears to others. It is important to him to know that he's achieving and excelling academically. He is incredibly future-focused and serious about what the agenda is, the plan of attack, and the expectation for outcome. He is passionate about a handful of topics and can teach you more about those subjects than you could imagine coming from a six-year old.
Kate, our four-year old is a horse of another color. She's not interested in impressing the world. She's beautiful and confidently aware of herself. She's the most artistically gifted child I know and lives smack dab in the world of the present. She seeks to amerce herself in the colors, smells, tastes, and experiences of that which is in front of her. She has little use for time or appointments or rules.
Claire, our ten-month old is just plain crazy. She's verbal, fearless, and in general, all about being right in the mix of her siblings. She's also the most affectionate little one on the planet.
It's hard to believe that these three little beings all came from the same two people. They are vastly different and beautiful all in one breath. The challenge for Ray and I has been to honor their differences especially when they conflict with our personality types.
I'll give you an example. Many people say that Kate and I resemble one another....that I looked a lot like Kate when I was a little girl. It's sweet and fun to feel like I have a mini-me walking around this world. However, while my daughter stops to smell the roses at every turn, I'm exhausted and often frustrated by her desire to constantly be in the present. With little to no sense of urgency, she's not guided by anyone's time table and the more you rush her, the slower she goes. Drives me up a wall. Until she shows me the number of spots on a lady bug, a tree in the park or the perfect shade of orange...and then, I remember why God gave her to me...to help me pause, to teach me to breathe and to remind me that all we have is the here and now. Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one.
I can't wait to see how they grow up, who they become, and ultimately, how they create the beautiful dynamic that is our crazy family.