I have two very different Sons.
I know, not an earth shattering statement and all things being equal, people aren’t. I am just amazed at times how two children raised by the same person can be so utterly different.
Sure they are 4 years and change apart, but hardly a generational gap.
Chris was born to a very young mother, Sean to someone with a bit more experience.
Chris got more one-on-one attention being the only child but when Sean was born was relegated to number two out of necessity.
Chris had more of his early childhood documented in pictures filling several albums (something that Sean pointed out indignantly a few years back) and Sean’s solo photos of his first year barely filled one. The pictures were for the most from then on in, both of them.
They were the best of pals and Sean looked up to him and tried to emulate everything Chris did whether he was able to or not. Every silly antic of Chris, Sean laughed with delight. He wanted to BE Chris.
And yet, there were still so different.
Chris needed lots of attention, “Mommy LOOK!” a common refrain. He would love to sit beside me and cuddle as a small child. Chris would smile every time he saw the camera and was agreeable and sweet.
Sean struggled when you tried to hold him and always wanted “DOWN!” Chris cautiously approached everything in life, Sean ran headfirst into everything without thought and with great gusto. Chris rarely got hurt, Sean was always covered in bruises and scrapes. Chris was a happy go lucky child and Sean growled when he didn’t get his way.
As they got a little older Chris became more introspective and Sean more interested in belonging. They basically played a big old switcheroo personality-wise.
When Tom came into our lives Sean attached himself firmly to him and followed him around, EVERYWHERE. When we would sit together on the couch Sean would place himself in the middle of us and emulated everything we said and did. Chris watched Tom closely with admiration and wanted to learn what it takes to be a good Husband and Father. In their own ways they both grew to love and accept Tom into our little family.
Chris is almost 21 now and has become the Canadian version of a young Republican and Sean at 16 a bit of a Hippy. Chris likes to rag on his brother for his long hair and views on life and Sean just shrugs his shoulders good-naturedly like any good Hippy would.
As different as they are though, they do love each other (though would BOTH be highly opposed to verbalizing it) and both sure love their Mamma.