I was blessed last year to bring a bundle of baby boy joy into our family and it has been all wonder and excitement since he became a part of our crew. A lot of conversation since then include questions about who our little guy looks and acts like in relation to his sisters and brother. That is a lot of pressure on our youngest, because his siblings all expect him to grow up and be just like them.
I do not want to ever pigeon-hole my children, but it is difficult to not categorize their traits. My husband and I wonder constantly about our kids, and who they will grow up to be personality wise. It is hard not to imagine, worry about, and forecast their futures, especially as a mom. Our similarities and differences form a connection that makes us a family and I never want to lose sight of that.
My husband is an engineer and tells stories about taking apart computers in his bedroom in between playing baseball and basketball with his friends. My sports loving daughter likes to investigate the nuts and bolts of everything and is always asking quirky questions. I am all about dialogue and talking a subject to death, where they can sit and ponder quietly. I embrace the gray areas of life, where they look for the black and white of it all.
What I love about my husband, I adore a million times more in our daughter even though it means she is the opposite of me in a lot of ways. I love her STEM focused brain and the way she evaluates every dribble, rebound, and shot taken in a youth basketball game. Her slow determination makes me bite my fingernails and want to scream “speed it up”, but I know her personality needs this simmer-and-wait-for-it-type of attitude.
She gets mistaken for being shy, but once you know her she will talk forever. My daughter and my husband are just the type of people who do not rush to answer a question. They take time to consider all things. As a mother who is constantly rushing, I learn a lot from my more patient family members. They help me be a better listener, and they also prove that opposites attract.
Having two technical minded people in one household can be a bit much some days, and for this reason I feel a great bond with my younger daughter. While my oldest takes after her dad, my second born is all me. She likes planning and organizing, just like her mom. We look alike, and have a mutual love for sarcasm. If I need help remembering something, my younger daughter is my greatest ally. She just gets me and my list-making skills.
Since we have identical traits, I do not worry about her like I do my other daughter, which in turn makes me worry about not worrying enough, then I overcompensate only to settle down and unleash the anxiety circle all over again. But have no fear, my mini-me daughter totally gets it. Plus my husband is here to wrangle in my crazy as necessary.
My cycle of worry with my middle daughter comes from an understanding I have with her and her birth order in our family. Her reactions to school, home, and the fairness of life always seem to mirror how I would react. Therefore I have to constantly remember to be careful with her and her feelings. I do not want to take things for granted and have her feel lost in the shuffle.
It is too early to tell how the baby in the family is going to turn out because he is still in fact a baby. Right now I just hope he crawls and walks on schedule because we are not helping when it comes to that matter. All anyone in my family wants to do is hold and snuggle him. The poor little guy hardly ever gets to stretch out on his own. Therefore, I foresee him being the type of kid who craves independence as he gets older, which was very much my adolescent tune from pre-teen to present day.
My older son looks like his father’s side of the family, but has a wild spirit all his own. He has little patience (like his mom) and a high energy level (like his dad) plus an adorable sense of humor (like his sisters). The family blend in him makes his personality so special that every day is an adventure. My husband and I need to work on embracing that adventure, and also toning it down when in large crowds or quiet settings.
I really love seeing myself and my husband in our kids. We turned out alright, so I have even higher hopes for them. The connection between us all really solidifies family and what it means to be bonded for life. It is a connection I plan to hold on to always.