I've written before about thoroughly enjoying the symmetry that the four children in our family provide. There's also something wonderful about the symmetry that the two genders of our children provide. Before I had the girls, I thought maybe I would be a boy mom. Once the girls were here, and they were sleeping enough that I was somewhat awake enough to have time to think, I realized what a cool and unique situation it was to be raising two boys and two girls.
There's all sorts of research and opinions about stereotypical behavior and interests for boys and girls. That's not what I'm talking about right now. I'm talking about my personal experience, and the similarities and differences that I find between my boys and my girls.
One commonality that all my children definitely share is that they like to be in the middle of it all. Jason has always been an equal opportunity daddy - he gives all the kids airplane rides, tickles and opportunities to be part of a pig pile. All four kids possess a physicality that means they are not afraid to try new things and get a little messy.
As the oldest, my boys are usually the ones to try things first. Of course, Seth and Evan are not the same age, but since the girls joined our family, they often get grouped together. Sometimes, this is exciting for them, and sometimes, well, it isn’t! My boys love to play with toys, play outside, and play with Legos. They get excited over a new toy in the gymnastics waiting room, and they are full of energy for an impromptu trip to the playground. They love to read, do puzzles, and watch videos. They are handsome and smart and funny; they like to go for haircuts together and to run around until their cheeks are red. They are sensitive and loving, moody and argumentative. They are my boys.
Maya and Nora are a unit, though they are starting to develop their own personalities and preferences. Recently, Nora told Maya that she was going to be “the only one” ballerina for Halloween, then they concocted a plan to dress up as each other for Halloween! They are adventurous and daring, sweet and kissable. They want to do what their brothers are doing - they run and play and put on their helmets to ride their tricycles to the “neighborhood.” They know how to say cheese for pictures, and they like to fit into small spaces. They are strong and fearless, but still look to us for reassurance. They like to pick out their own clothes and finally tolerate having their hair done. They love slides, reading, and finally getting to play with the boys in our basement playroom. They are silly and funny, exasperating and tantrum-prone. They are my girls.
Together, they are all my children, boys and girls, together and apart. It is amazing to have the opportunity to watch them all grow and develop, sometimes in tandem, sometimes in different directions. It is incredible to observe them as they make connections, girls and boys.