Sometimes when it’s late at night, and all the house is sleeping, I like to sit at the computer in my office and get lost for a while in the photos of my kids. Old photos and recent photos; I love to remember the ride. How is it even possible that it’s been less than a decade?
Ani is the 9½-year-old sister. She is strong and very competitive. She loves the limelight. She does not take no for an answer, and she wants everyone (particularly her brother) to know that she is THE BEST! She often has to be reminded to be a gentle leader. Asa is the 8-year-old brother. He is wise, funny, and sensitive. He is extremely self-conscious and avoids the limelight at all costs; he can feel overwhelmed pretty easily. He is cautious and often has to be reminded to assert himself.
You might be picking up on the fact that the kids’ personalities are like night and day. And you might be guessing that the energy between them can be incompatible and downright messy. Absolutely! Sometimes they become wild cats roaring, clawing, and attacking each other until blood is drawn. It can be ugly. And then it can move quickly from spiteful and aggressive, to intimate and protective of each other. Sometimes I wonder if my kids even realize yet that they are separate beings, and not just extensions of each other.
Raising this brother/sister duo has certainly had it’s share of moments where my husband, Doug, and I feel helplessly frustrated. But funny, for as different as they are, and for how much conflict they have between them, my kids seem to have had similiar interests over the years. They have really influenced each other and have gone through the phases together from princesses and dolls to Ivy & Bean, Harry Potter, and Jack Sparrow and everything in between. This has made the times they do get along very, very sweet.
I feel appreciative of having a daughter and a son very close in age. They have had a unique opportunity to have exposure from a wee age, to all things “girlish” and “boyish.” They have closely observed their sibling with the opposite gendered toys, games, clothes, and treatment out in public. And I think in the case of my kids, they both liked what the other one had and didn’t feel that it was off limits.
Admittedly, in our family, my husband and I made an attempt from the beginning to avoid the obvious gender stereotypes in raising our kids… but some of that is unavoidable. Our son was known to toddle around in a hand me down truck onesie (and mind you, Handsome in Pink didn’t exist yet so this was not a pink firetruck onesie!) And it wasn’t a onesie handed down from his sister either! Our daughter had several pink onesies, as well as some skirts and dresses. And we certainly did not start our son off in dresses. He came to them on his own!
Please enjoy these photos of my kids together over the past 8 years. The pictures, although out of order, tell the whole story.
We love our baby dolls!