If you know me in real life, there’s a good chance you also know my kids. And if you know my kids, you know that although they may *look* a lot alike, their personalities couldn’t possibly be more different.
My kids raise the birth order theory to a new level. Avery is my eldest, my linear-thinking problem solver, my mature and responsible child, my planner, my “I’m-determined-to-fit-into-the-grownup-world” kid. Owen is my middle, my wild card, my emotional and imaginative son, my costume-wearing lover of fantasy and make-believe who marches to the beat of his own drum. Amelia is my baby, my social butterfly who introduces herself without qualm and who manhandles friendship and devotion from complete strangers, my happy-go-lucky sunshine, my constant performer who tap dances her way through life with jazz hands blazing, determined to claim her fair share (or more) of the spotlight. They are who they are.
Recently, we sat down for dinner at a local patio restaurant. An orange Lamborghini was valet-parked across the street … quite a rare sight in our suburban bubble. Giant SUVs and tricked-out minivans? A dime a dozen. Elite Italian sports cars with Back to the Future doors? Not so much. The kids couldn’t take their eyes off the car. We watched as everyone within a two-block radius walked up and inspected the car, circling and ogling and making clear that this was a car deserving of attention. After our meal, we took our turn with the ogling and snapped the obligatory photo. Seeing the Lamborghini up close, my kids’ reactions were such perfect representations of their unique personalities that I experienced a jarring moment of clarity: They really and truly are who they are. They are exactly that and nothing else, and my job as their mother is to nurture and foster and protect their unique selves (and in Amelia’s case, maybe protect her from her overly social self). I had that lovely “Motherhood Moment” of clarity and then I laughed my ass off, because my children really do entertainment me.
How much does that car cost?
How much does an obstetrician make?
How long will I have to work before I can buy that car?
Mom, I bet you a million dollars that the man who owns that car is wearing a solid gold suit.
Can we wait here for that car’s person to come out?
Because I bet if we’re really, really nice to him, he’ll take us home with him.
They are who they are.