They make me smile. I know it sounds corny, and even cliché, but my boys, they are indeed one half of my heart. They are part of who I am. I couldn’t even begin to define who I am to you without bringing their names up. They are the life blood that pumps through my body every single day.
Parenting is tough to begin with – parenting my boys, who are polar opposites, is especially tough.
Look at this picture, do you notice anything funny? The only thing remotely similar about my boys are the fact that they are, well, boys.
Other than that? Total and complete opposites.
First, they look nothing alike. I envy people who have children who look alike. Or their children have one dominant feature they all share so that when you see them, together, or separate, you know they’re related.
My boys? No. They look nothing alike.
And yes, they have the same father. (Because I know someone out there is dying to ask that question).
GD has brown hair and eyes so brown, they look nearly black (like my sister’s eyes). He has my nose, which is large and crooked and though it takes some getting used to, we’re okay with it. Why? Because it’s a Cherokee Indian nose and we’re proud of that heritage. GD is tall and will likely continue to grow another few inches. I predict the boy will reach 6 feet. His spine is slightly curved – like mine. His sinuses are narrow and he has trouble breathing from his nose – like me. He is impatient and loves all things geeky – like me. GD went through puberty early and with a determined vengeance – if you click on the picture above and look closely, you will see GD is growing a mustache.
MK has dark blond hair and blue-gray eyes. They are blue when he’s alert and feisty, they turn a dull gray when he’s tired or upset. His nose is straight, his cheeks are slightly pudgy, his smile is infectious and he looked just like my husband did when he was a toddler. He has an easy-going personality – like his father. He is smart as a whip – like his father. He forgets many things – like his father. He is a natural musician – like his father. MK is a late bloomer and is still one of the shortest, and scrawniest, boys in his class. His father was a late bloomer, too, and I’m confident he will catch up to his peers when he hits his high school years.
GD drives me crazy because he’s just like me. MK drives the husband crazy because he’s just like him. All together, our family perfectly complements one another. I couldn’t have asked for better balance.
Our children are blurry caricatures of me and my husband.
GD is gentle, kind, timid, shy and worries about everything. He doesn’t talk very much because he doesn’t have much to say. He’s an observer – he looks before he leaps. He’s cautious about life and about people and getting to know GD is not easy – you have to find a common ground with GD; small talk makes him very uncomfortable. He’s insecure and self-conscious. He’s unsure, about himself and the world around him. GD likes to disappear into his surroundings and is content to peacefully co-exist with people. Though he has an opinion, he doesn’t express it very often and I worry that he will be a follower, not a leader. He appears unmotivated, but in fact, I think he’s a quiet achiever. He tends to exert only the minimum amount of energy required to see him through something – he does what is expected of him and nothing more. Though there have been times, especially lately, that he has surprised me. He has a quiet sense of humor and consistently catches me off guard by saying off-the-wall things with a completely serious face. You have to pay attention to GD to “get” GD
MK is a loud talker. He still doesn’t quite understand the whole “inside” voice concept. He is a heavy walker and I can tell when MK is moving around the house because the floorboards quiver with his determination to conquer the day. MK is overly confident and that has gotten him into trouble recently (thinking he “gets” the whole algebra thing when in fact, he does not, and resenting the fact that his dad has to help him over the humps). MK is highly intelligent, but absent-minded. He consistently forgets to do things – everyday things, like pick up the towels in the bathroom after his showers even after we’ve told him one billion gazillion times to do so. MK leaps before he looks and though it works out the majority of the time, it does get him into trouble sometimes. MK is very friendly and prefers social situations. He is relaxed with people and is not afraid to put his feelings out there – even going so far as to give the girl he’s liked for the past FOUR years a note explaining his feelings for her, which she promptly passed around to her friends. MK was teased, but he handled it with surprising maturity. He has firm resolve and is often quite stubborn. He used to hold baby food veggies in his mouth for HOURS until I finally told him he could spit it out. The boy doesn’t give up easily.
My boys not only look completely different, they have completely different personalities.
At first, this used to bother me. But over the years, I’ve learned this has been a blessing because the boys, are the best of friends. They are already talking about being roommates when they go to college.
It warms a mother’s heart to know her children will always be there for each other long after she’s gone.
But parenting these boys has been hard on me. I have to constantly do about-faces and switch gears when dealing with them. GD is not naturally motivated, so we have to do his motivation for him by taking his video games away from him if his grades drop. It works every time.
Though losing play time upsets MK, he adapts. He simply conforms to the new set of rules and moves on. Thank God he has a natural desire to want to succeed in everything he does or we’d be in serious trouble.
I have to use humor with GD a little more than MK. I have to be a little more sympathetic when I deal with MK. GD shuts down if I yell at him, sometimes it takes yelling at MK to get his attention.
Parenting my boys is like trying to walk on board a ship during a violent storm. There are dips, bobs, pitches, tilts and all sorts of emotional turmoil, but it’s never boring and being the mother of these boys has never been a mundane task.
They both challenge me in deep and unexpected ways and I can say, with absolute certainty, that I am a better person because of them.
I love, and cherish, you boys. More than you’ll ever know.