Posted by Duff

I need to knock it off.

My kids are my kids, yes, but they are their own people and deserve better than to be pigeon-holed by my impressions of them.

It has always made me cringe when someone tells me The Dervish is just like someone else, because she’s not. Just because she wakes up cranky or holds her fork a certain way doesn’t mean she will resent authority or play the piano. She told me just the other day she wants a french horn. 

But who is this hypocrite to get annoyed? I know her better than anyone and have already declared her to be just like me. A spitfire. Full of vinegar.

Worse yet, I declare her the opposite of her brother. Which is okay if we’re only talking plumbing. But having grown up creative to my brother’s athletic and dramatic to my brother’s low-key, you’d think I’d be a little more careful when characterizing my own children, one of whom is only just beginning to show personality.

So The Dervish’s pout resembles mine and  her mother’s eyes greet her in the mirror. Anyone who meets Atticus says he’s a clone of his father. These things cannot be changed without surgery. But they don’t carve outcomes in stone. Thank God.

If I don’t zip it, The Dervish could start thinking of herself as the kind of person who climbs out her bedroom window at twelve just because that’s the way she’s always been. Or Atticus could start getting himself beaten up at elementary school recess because he never says ‘boo.’

And, the knife-twister: Each of them could think I love the other one more. Which is like comparing dark chocolate to red wine.  A total waste of time. Just give me both, and I’ll be happy. 

Yes, they are different. Different from each other, but more importantly, different from everyone else on the planet, like any one of us.

Let’s just leave it at that.