The Unexpected

So, speaking of the unexpected delights of raising children, I started to think about personality.

My little people, as I like to call them, have distinct personalities. They came that way, and nothing I do will ever change that.

Simone wakes up and skips into the living room. Even at tender hours, she has a smile on her face. Nadia, on the other hand, sleeps in and grumbles at us in the morning. Cross her and she will pout or wail or just look at you. As the day progresses, Simone is an intense child, checking off activities, while Nadia acts as if nothing could possibly bother her.

What’s interesting is when I look back at pictures of them as infants, I can see pieces of their personalities peeking through the photos. I, like many parents, have pictures of them at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months, and their personalties were captured on film by the same photographer.

Simone appears a little intense, staring right into the camera, sometimes serious, sometimes playful and very aware. She cried during one photo session. (I promise she didn’t like the photographer.) The photographer offered to remove the tears from the pictures, and I told him that would not be necessary. I didn’t want to change even that tiny part of her history. When I look at the photo, it says so much about her. She gets along with most people. When she doesn’t, I don’t push her. I figure there must be a reason.

As for Nadia, she is just happy and playful and all smiles in her photos. She played with her blanket and wasn’t bothered by all of the clicking and flashing. When she turned a year old, we got a cake for the photo shoot. Nadia dug into her cake and got it all over her face. It was like she was saying let my big sister do all the worrying, I am here to have fun. I guess that is why she likes to turn on the water in the bathroom and run away giggling.

This is what we signed up for when we decided to become parents. We like to think we have control, can mold our children into what we want them to be. I am not suggesting parents cannot affect their children’s lives. Of course, we can. It is just that certain parts of them come prepackaged.

  • I’ve been quoting this post ALL weekend. I, too, can’t wait to see how Betty turns out. But I will say that everyday she seems to be more and more herself if that makes any sense.

    • It is like unwrapping a package. You see a little more, learn a little more as each day passes.

  • I would describe my boys in similar ways–and how now with Sam at 5, and so often thoughtful, intense, pensive I appreciate the word prepackaged. (This can take on another layer when you add adoption to the mix.) What do I nurture, encourage to be “activated” within him, what do I miss out on helping come to the surface? He is also rambunctious, physical and goofy, which appears more on the photos now! I love looking back at photos of me for the same reason as a kid. So many moments of; “Oh I have always been this way…”

  • Rania O

    That’s an amazing observation about your adorable daughters!

    I have had a similar observations with regard to my 3 boys as well. What IS IT about the first and second children being such polar opposites?? haha

    My daughter is just now coming into her very distinct personality at 18 months but it will be interesting “baby picture analyzing” hers in about another year’s time. 🙂

    -Rania

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