I have often said, and don't judge me when I say this, that had John-Heath been born first, there would have been no Ren. I would have been one and done. Actually, we thought we were one and done with Ren but...SURPRISE!
To be fair, a lot of it, I'm sure, has to do with my age. I am ten years older in experiencing everything with him than I had been with her.
He is all boy! And keeps us on our toes. But what a precious boy he is!
My children are like night and day.
Where Ren was more independent as a child, almost a loner (yes, even at the ripe old age of three), John-Heath is a people person.
Ren would plays for hours by herself if you let her. She would take all her little action figures or dolls or even movie cases and line them up, just so, in a row. John-Heath always wants an active participant or, at the very least, an audience when he plays. And there is nothing in a row in his room! His action figures or army men or Legos are scattered to kingdom come!
Of course, both my children are tender hearted, albeit in their own ways.
Ren is more reserved with her emotions and expresses them mostly in a private way and even tries her best to keep from putting herself in a position to become emotional. She is the first to change the channel when a sad news story or a Feed the Children commercial comes on. But she has secretly taken groceries to those in need. And when she hurts...well she hurts hard, and just adds another layer of bricks to the fortress around her heart.
John-Heath will watch, often cry, then launch into a hundred questions about whatever it was that he just witnessed. I will never forget this time before he ever turned two when he was sitting playing with Ren's keyboard and the instrumental version of the song "My Heart Will Go On" from the movie Titanic, which was a pre-programmed selection, came on. After only a few bars of the song had played, John and I heard him begin to wail. When we turned to look at him he was just sitting there crying at the music.
My children are also very different in their approach to meeting new people.
Ren is cautious, somewhat standoffish, and can actually appear to be a little conceited. But once one gets to know her they will find she can be quite the talker and has a great, very dry sense of humor. She is also a very loyal friend, if the loyalty is reciprocated.
John-Heath never meets a stranger. Once when we were all on our way somewhere and stopped to buy a watermelon from an older gentleman at a roadside stand, John-Heath busted a gut to get his shoes on in time to go with his dad to buy the melon. With the car doors open, Ren and I heard him say excitedly, "I'm John-Heath!!! What's your name?" And then he and the man began to converse. Ren asked at the moment, "Mom, was I ever that friendly?" To which my reply was, "No, baby. You weren't." It was probably the longest watermelon purchase in history.
Sometimes, I think how much easier it would be if my children had each other's good qualities and neither of them had their "bad" qualities. Then I think how boring that would be. Who wants cookie-cutter kids?
Have a great one, friends. I hope this hump day for you isn't as rainy as it is for us.
Oh, yeah...that funny "John-Heath-at-the-funeral-home" story...
The casket room at our local funeral home is located just behind the office area. It is where all the
different samples of caskets, urns, and models of vaults are kept. And it is a completely fascinating place for a nine-year-old. Just before a recent funeral, the minister, who happens to be a good friend of our family, had retreated to this room for a few minutes to quietly reflect over what he planned to say during the service. He soon notices he is not alone. Walking around the room, taking careful note of everything he was seeing, was my son. When he finished, he made his way over to the minister and began to speak to him...
"I've picked out the casket I want when I die. (And then, looking at this man for just a moment) Wait a minute...why am I telling you this? You won't be around then."