As much as I love the entertainment element of writing about my motherhood, I feel I need to write a bit about my children on a serious note.
My kids (yes, I can't believe I have 'kids' in the plural) are amazing and watching them grow and develop is quite the experience.
I've always been around kids, but there is something about seeing something that wasn't there one day suddenly show up the next. It's like Michelle Pfeiffer's character says in "The Story of Us" - "All of a sudden there were no people and now there's people!"
To see Abby be a baby and then suddenly have imagination is astounding. She'll be mixing water in a bucket in the bathtub and she says, "Cooking ... noodles, chicken, broccoli." The fact that she is even able to have that sense of imagination out of nowhere is crazy to me.
Of course, I don't express my astonishment over my daughter often because it just doesn't translate through conversation or writing. You have to see it for yourself.
Yesterday Abby was "talking" on the phone (it was a flip cam) to a lion (hey, she knows lions. Maybe it was Calvin). She said a few words of gibberish to said-lion (making sure she paused in intervals for the lion to speak) before busting out in a sense of unnatural, pretend laughter.
Then today Abby was pulling puzzles out of a shopping bag one by one while Tom and I were in the kitchen. One box after another that she put on the floor. Then all of a sudden I hear her dragging the heavy bag across the carpet. When she passes the wall and is in my sight I see that she is dragging the bag with Leia inside. Leia looks slightly pleased with the ride, but quickly changes her tune as the bag starts to tilt and Abby doesn't stop.
We were sitting at the dining room table and she suddenly said to me, "Peggy ... buh-bye ... see you later ... alligator!" I said, "Aunt Peggy said, 'See you later, alligator?'" She gave a resounding, "YEAH!"
As much as I've heard some celebrity parents say that teaching children to say please and thank you is teaching them to be robotic, I have grown to see my daughter say, "Thank you, Mommy!" and "Thank you, Daddy!" all on her own when we give her things. I melt every time. She gives hugs and kisses and is just her own person.
I just don't have the words to express it because talking and writing about it doesn't do it justice, but it's been a wild ride so far and we (speaking for me and my amazing husband) absolutely love it.
Another proof-of-God experience is to see just how different Jack is from his sister. Up until this point, at least, she is me in every stretch of the imagination. She's bold and stubborn; loving and affectionate, yet not overly sensitive; funny (naturally, she gets that from me).
Jack is so clearly NOT all of that.
He is sweet by nature. Where Abby could be set down alone as an infant to swing or stare at hanging objects in her play gym, Jack needs interaction. He needs human contact and affection. He screams when left alone, but when we start talking to him, he just coos and smiles in a way I don't think I've ever seen a baby coo and smile. He is just so, so happy, but he needs that affection and human touch. It is so endearing.
Even in the womb, Abby would jab at me when I would set my hand on my stomach as if to say, "Hey! I'm occupying this space right now! Lay off!" Jack would move when I would put my hand on my stomach, but it was to snuggle up to the touch. My strong girl and my sweet boy.
Abby nursed, but wasn't attached to it. She loved the bottle and went on strike three or four times over the 10 months we did it. Jack was at the breast within a half hour of being born, knowing exactly what to do and knowing it was exactly what he wanted to do. Fits their personalities to a tee.
It's fascinating to see both of our children be loving, yet need us in very different ways and I'm very much looking forward to seeing Jack grow into his own personality and see just how different he and Abby are (and what similarities they have).
I will often say that Abby is me and Jack is Tom - even down to appearance - but I know they will each have some of each of us as well as some God-given uniqueness. The bottom line is that we have the privilege of being their parents and being with them as they mature into adulthood.
So far, it has certainly been an entertaining, thrilling and humbling journey.