So today I receive my cousin Francesca’s Christmas card, complete with a photo of her darling five (count them, five) children. The kids range in age from a two-year-old toddler to a nine-year-old third-grader. It’s easy to look at them and say, yep, that one looks like their dad Doug, or wow—Maisy has Francesca’s red hair! What’s not so easy to decipher from the photo is their personalities. Does Bryce talk back? Is Elliot aggressive? And is Lucinda gregarious like big brother Michael?
My own two sons are an interesting composite of me and The Husband. Purely by looks, Tall is me (blond, slim) and Short is The Husband (darker hair, broad shoulders). Then things get murky. Tall is a natural athlete (thank you to The Husband’s good genes) and an avid reader (that would be me). He’s also a great artist (me) and has lots of friends (The Husband). So who do we blame his quick temper on?
Short is determined (The Husband) and has a fabulous sense of humor (uh, me?). He is kind and genuine (not sure where he gets that) but hates to lose in games (his Aunt Oakley?). We stick these labels on our children, trying to compartmentalize their personalities, so we know what to expect and how to deal with them.
But they change. Every day.
I look at Francesca’s card again. Oh, wow. I thought that was Maisy in front of Michael…. it’s not. Lucinda just looks exactly like her.
(“Mirror Or Variant”)