Seven-year-old Thing2 was invited to a movie with a friend on Sunday. An hour before it was time to go, he doffed his t-shirt and, wearing only his camo pants began rummaging through the closet looking for his only button-down shirt and tie.
The Big Guy and I long ago adopted the Vermont uniform of good jeans for going out and regular jeans for everything else. Thirteen-year-old Thing1’s fashion priorities are comfort and cleanliness – in that order. I don’t know where he got his sense of style and panache. It’s always been clear, however, that Thing2 didn’t just fall very far from our family tree, and he’s not content to put down roots for his own tree. He’s starting his own orchard.
The funny thing is, I know we’ve done somethings differently as we’ve guided Thing2 through infancy and the toddler years, but for the most part, the Big Guy and I like to think we’re pretty even-steven with our two boys. Despite sharing genes and parents, however, the two of them are completely different personalities, and we’re often left wondering where nurture ends and nature picks up.
The real puzzle for me, the one I am happy to consider indefinitely, is how the Big Guy and I can have two such completely different little boys in our life and still experience the same powerful love for each of them. It’s a puzzle, but it’s also a bit of a miracle.