I was at a friend's house on Saturday night and got to visit with a group of women that I used to work with, and now don't see very often. Somehow we got onto the conversation of how our children are so different from one another... meaning that my two boys with the same parents, being raised the same way are so very different. It almost makes the argument that nature shapes our little people more than we do.
I described Will as fearless when it comes to physical feats. He could climb our big wooden play set before he was a year old. He flew up the rock wall while he still toddled on our living room floor. Jack just made it up this year, and he turned two this summer. Will rides his big girl scooter (yes, he has a girl's scooter. Shut up.) with no fear, flying down our street at lightening speed. (At least, it looks like lightening speed to me when I have the 9 and the 1 already dialed into my phone, sure that he is going to break his neck at any moment.) The other signature Will characteristic is that every single person in his presence is his best friend in the whole wide world. He wants to talk to, play with and love everyone. And he lets you know. Immediately. Last, Will is sensitive. If someone at the playground (usually slightly older girls) shun him... it cuts him deep, yo. Strangers or not, he gets deeply wounded by people's actions and it lingers.
Jack is two, and while they say that personalities change significantly until a child reaches 4ish, you can tell that Jack is not a little mini-Will. As I said, when it comes to the physical stuff, Jack is not as adventurous. He is leery of dangerous things. Now, eventually he gets over it in most cases.... but where Jack has to size up the situation, Will flies by the seat of his pants without a second thought (and sometimes without the pants). Jack is also shy. That could be his speech delay, but I don't know. I think that he sizes people up, too. You really have to rate as pretty interesting for Jack to bother giving you the time of day. It's not an easy task. And, sensitive? I think not. I believe Jack will have rhinoceros skin. He strikes me as a dude who will go his own way and do his own thing without giving critics a second thought. He will be him (hopefully he'll get over his hoarding), and I am not sure that he will care who likes it.
I had never really thought of the boys in these parallels before Saturday night. But, really... it is kind of amazing. I grew these little creatures from scratch, and yet their little personalities are growing on their own, and in very different ways. Maybe everyone else knew about this, but I just find it amazing. I grew little creatures... and they are growing into little people. Amazing.