Friday, December 21, 2012

Our kids differences

Isn't it interesting how one set of parents can have such different children?  We only had two but there are very unique characteristics of both.  I'm the youngest of eleven and you can be sure the similarities and differences are still quite apparent - and we're in our forties and above.  We probably drove our mom and dad nuts.  I often wondered how they could remember what each of us liked and whose clothes were whose.  I'll bet every sibling of mine knows my childhood nickname, Picky.  My food couldn't touch each other on the plate and I refused to eat a burger if it wasn't totally plain... No ketchup, no mustard, nothing. Just bun and burger.  I still can't stand condiments, they gross me out yet I put them on my kids sandwiches today... The things we do for love.

When Jeremy was born, by emergency c-section, he had a cap full of brown hair. He was actually due on leap day but I assured Mike it wasn’t going to happen because I didn’t want a child with a birthday once every four years.  In hindsight that would have been pretty cool.  He was pink and perfect weighing eight pounds fourteen ounces.  Three years later came Christopher with the reddest face and blonde white hair.  He came out blowing bubbles and weighed slightly less than Jer at eight pounds ten ounces. Both were born at breakfast time, go figure they like/liked breakfast food even for dinner.

So how are they so different when they're raised in the same house with the same rules and values?  I guess it's that God given thing called individuality.  We have two boys but I know whether you have all girls, a combination of both and regardless of how many - they require different handling once their personality shines thru.

Jeremy happily chatted from his crib upon waking from his nap and waited for us to come get him.  He'd call out and talk but stayed put.  Christopher hopped over the crib railing when he awoke and wandered out to find us. Neither required much sleep, much to our dismay.

How do the sizes vary so greatly? Jeremy started out heavier but Chris ended up close to a hundred pounds more.  Jeremy runs, Chris lifted weights and was a lineman. One blonde, one brown.  Glasses, no glasses.  Seafood lover, carb lover, introvert, extrovert.  I remember family holidays and summer gatherings when I couldn't find Jeremy for a sec, then there he'd be in a quiet corner out of the commotion of kids racing around the yard and family gabbing in groups.  He wanted some peace meanwhile Chris was the one doing the racing. Jeremy likes to read, Chris called his friends for a quick synopsis of the book he should have read.  Like we didn't know? Jeremy's birthday is even numbers, Chris was all odd.  Jeremy's a sharp dresser, Chris needed twenty four hours notice with several reminders as a kid - that he needed to put on a collared shirt if we had an event to attend. He was all about sweats and tee shirts. The list goes on as I bet it does in your home with your kids or siblings.  Make a list so you can see it too.

I remember being at the bank one time when we needed the boys social security numbers.  Who do you think blurted them out? Me.  I don't know how I knew them, I don't recall memorizing them. I guess I was intrigued as to how those numbers were assigned to our children.  I think I stunned Mike and the bank manager but I never forgot them, I like the uniqueness.

I joke with people sometimes when they can't quite comprehend I have ten older siblings.  I say "we're either all adopted or none of us are!"  We look too much alike not to be related but we're all so different it's hard to believe we came from the same parents.  Personally I don't know how eleven can be so thoroughly loved and cared for but I lived it and they can. We are.  I don't know if I could do eleven justice but I'm thrilled to have two that I know so well :-)

God bless and thank you for reading.


  1. It is most definitely interesting that children raised by the same parents, in the same house can be so different. I, too, love that. I have always said that each child requires different parenting...bless you. Kathi

  2. Regina,

    I too have two children, but two girls. My girls are also one dark brown hair the other blondish and the total opposite. Including their love of different sports. One Volleyball and running and the other basketball and crew ( rowing). But I also find some things in common with them, like the face they make at me when I do something that could potentially embarrass them with their friends. :) Thank you for sharing your family and life with us. I pray you find some peace. Thinking of you and your family .

    Thank you,

  3. So true! With 4 I say this to myself all the time:)

  4. Good Morning Regina!
    Thank you for sharing your family with us. You truly did have a set of differences! But just looking at the picture of your two boys sitting next to each other you can see the love and fun they had. I was struck by how much Jeremy resembles your father. I saw the resemblance immediately with the photo you had posted of you dad. I had to chuckle as I read the differences and also about the condiments. I too have never eaten condiments. I remember being embarrassed when out with friends to order at Carrolls or McDonalds. Someone always had something to say and questions to ask. I still don't use condiments as an adult.
    Your list is such a legacy of your two and what a wonderful idea. You are truly an inspiration. You have people talking and slowing down to see the importance of life. I have spoken to a friend's niece, an 18 year old Freshman at Siena, and she told me she reads your blog first thing in the morning as I do. I have a feeling many people out here are following your words. I believe you are a true example of grace , faith,hope, and love! I hope you feel the cyber comfort of the hugs of many:)

  5. Reg,

    Love the picture of you with your Mom and brothers and sisters. I guess I always knew you came from a big family but I didn't know there were eleven of you! Wow! Strength in numbers! You continue to show us every day just how strong you are and as I read your blog, every day, I learn not to sweat the small stuff but to cherish it. Hope we can all get together soon. xo

  6. This Blog left me wanting! I love hearing about the differences in your children......such paralell's i would probably say within any family with a few differences sprinkled in. I have 3 boys and they are as different as apples and banana'! You are an amazing writer and I wish you peace.......i know this is hard to find right now, but hopefully you will.

  7. I love people watching. Maybe that's why I like facebook so much. Maybe that's why I'm drawn to your blog. I've always been a people person and a people observer. I like to figure out what makes people tick. Especially my own! I have 1 son and 1 daughter. Except for the OBVIOUS differences they are nothing alike (personality wise). Both have brown hair; both have my brown eyes and both look like me to a point (some say my daughter is a mini-me but I don't see it. Mostly because I think she is stunning and don't think that about myself.) I divorced my son's father so I'm the constant for my son and duaghter, but even though they have different fathers, they still both have my coloring, my freckles, my brown eyes even though the rest of their gene pool has lighter hair, and blue eyes! Genetics are amazing. It's the same with my siblings (2 boys; 2 girls) 3 of us with brown eyes and brown hair one with blond hair and blue eyes! I marvel at how different I am from my parents and my siblings even though we were raised in the same house as well. Morals; principles... you get it, you already wrote it :)

    But what I love to do is look back and see how different they were from so early on. Different pregnancy issues; different newborn issues; different toddler and so on. My son - sports 100%; My daughter - music 100%...

    My kids are 7 years apart. I literally have had separate lives and relationships with them. When my son was younger it was all about sports. I learned so much about sports. I went to every track meet, I participated in every event. I will remember every memory! He's 23. He is building his own life, while still living at home. I am not rushing him. Some say get him out, I say mind your business.

    Now my focus (while still being his parent) is on my daughter. New people in my life didn't know I had a son. My daughter and I are very involved in our community, we are seen everywhere so people think I only have 1 child so when I mention my son they are shocked.

    It's so strange to me, since he is a big part of my life, but he's not attached at the hip, like my daughter is. But when he was 17... he was. I mentioned before, he's a spine injury survivor and for 16 months I was his mother; nurse; tutor... we did so much together and I will even cherish those memories.

    I'm fortunate to have the separate time with them. When I was "full on" in his life, she was tagging along and just happy to be with us. She doesn't get the same luxury because he was in college and now working, but there was a glimmer in her eyes when he came to her last concert at the high school.

    I love that they are so different. I has made my life so rich! I have always said that I grew up as they grew up and I have learned so much from them.

    Thanks for your blog today. God bless...

  8. I love the list idea! My children are 17, 8, 5, 1. I know I talk differently with each one, especially the 1 year old. lol. It does amaze me how different or similar some siblings can be. It always makes me think of nature vs. nurture, which one has more influence. The world may never know.

  9. My mom and I have been reading your blog together and she asked if she could hold my hands and look at them when I come home for Christmas... so thank you for that.

  10. Hang in there, Regina. I wish I could take at least some of your heartache away. My son just came home from his job on a ship in Saudi Arabia. He's been gone over 3 months. He's my first born and only son, and he's 33 years young, a grown man. But to my heart he will always be my little boy. I feel kind of guilty for missing him while he was gone now. At least he came home for Christmas. I woke up to a text message that he made it home at 5:53 this morning. I have experienced too many close calls with this fearless son of mine. My fierce love for him (and my two daughters) scares me. I believe your Chris will be with you not just for Christmas but forever. Death can't take that away from you. Look for signs from him. Look for him in everything. He will let you know he's there. He isn't gone. Blessings...

  11. Gina,
    I read your blog everyday, often times rereading it. Then, I read the wonderful comments shared by others whom you've touched in some way through your words and stories. Its very touching... a double blessing, really. So much good going forth. Though I always feel compelled to post a comment of my own, I rarely do. Unlike some of the others here, I have the luxury of being able to hug you and tell you in person what a special woman, sister and extraordinary mom you are. But I don't do that often enough, so today, I'm dropping you a quick note to say that I love you and I'm always here for you... all 10 of us are always here for you... you're our baby sister!! You already know that but what the heck, I can say it again if I want to! God bless you sis'.

  12. I read your blog everyday, it's amazing. You are such an incredibly strong inspirational woman and I commend you for that because to be honest if I was in your shoes I'm not sure I would have the strength that you have to write a blog everyday. It's amazing. It's uplifting and wonderful. You are obviously a very beautiful person inside and out. Thank you for sharing your stories with strangers like myself. God bless <3

  13. Hi Regina ~ I've responded to every one of your blogs and yet deleted all at the last minute. Seems like I'm just repeating what everyone else has already said.... I guess in a way that's a testiment to your writing and the emotional pull and heartbreak of Chris' story and how you are dealing with it so openly (I too am so private AND a non-hugger other than my husband and kids.)
    BUT although repetitive I feel the need to tell you that I have been following you and Chris as well as Deanna, Bailey and Matt since Dec. 1st; not a day goes by that I haven't marveled at your strength and kept you in my thoughts; we do not know one another although I wish we did; you're inspiring, strong, and obviously very special. I'm smiling as I read today's blog because like your boys my two girls are polar opposites. I am with you in prayer every day. Thank you for sharing.
    Staci in Saratoga Springs

  14. Dear Gina,
    Thank You once again for sharing your feelings with us. Another wonderful story which I must admit as well, made me smile. I look forward to getting home from work every night, turning on the computer to read whatever you feel like sharing with us. Your story triggered a few memories I have when we were so much younger, and we all ate together as a family, at the table. Some of us liked this, some of us liked that, some of us liked it all! And you're right, you were picky! I hope you smiled as you wrote this today. I Love You, Eddie

  15. Being a mom of 2girls and2boys I seem to forget what tings each likes you have such a wonderful way about you and how you write.i think I will start to keep a journal of things we don't necessarily consider important because as you know the hardest way every there may come a time that we want and have a need to remember.i hope you and all the families Involved find a way to find some peace during this holiday season.god bless all of yoi

  16. Regina,

    I usually read your blog every day but missed yesterday as I was busy with holiday shopping after work. Catching up today and I am once again awed by your writings. I also am struck by the similarities of our lives. So many things you write about your kids remind me of mine and today as you're writing about your siblings I can relate to that having grown up as the oldest of five. Three of my children were content to sit in the crib and wait for my husband and I to come get them. But not my third son! By the time he was 9 months old he was throwing himself out of the crib!

    A few months ago we connected on our mutual friend Maria's facebook page. At the time your profile picture was a black and white photo of you and your siblings sitting on a stoop. I commented to you about it on Maria's page and then asked you if you were related to Eddie because your maiden name had caught my eye. You pointed out to me which one he was in the picture. We chatted back and forth for a bit and shared a few laughs that night. I've been sitting here trying to figure out which one he is in the picture you posted on here because it's been about 32 years since I last saw him!

    Thank you again for sharing your stories with us. It really helps me to remember how precious life is and how important it is to be thankful for all the good things in my life, especially my four beautiful children.