My Boys

I realize that I've been thinking about the new baby as a girl with straight hair and hazel eyes and a meek temper. Afterall, Cassie has curly hair and blue eyes and a temper that has actually alarmed some people (ie, the woman at Walmart who told her during a fake-tantrum that "little girls that cry aren't pretty". THAT didn't go over well!)

I'm expecting someone totally different, even though they'll be sisters. It dawns on me that's probably because Ron and Lee are totally different, even though they're brothers. And, WOW, are they different! Ron (age 7) has curly hair and hazel eyes, a lanky frame, a reserved dry-wit, and a fondness for rules of science and the law of numbers. Lee has straight hair and blue eyes, a sturdy frame, an easy quick charm, and a fondness for interesting words and dramatic stories.

I guess it was two Summers ago, when Cassie was about 18 months and Ron was 5 and Lee was almost 4, that I saw the a particularly emphatic demonstration of their different approaches to situations. I was collapsed on the front porch while the kids played in the front yard, although they had to stay on this side of the sidewalk, and not go beyond our yard on either side. I wasn't really worried about traffic in our neighborhood, but its best to get the idea in their head that playing near/in the street is a dangerous idea.

Cassie toddled onto the sidewalk and saw it as a runway to the end of the block! She took off like a shot. Seeing that she was aimed at the edge of the yard and not slowing, I called to Lee "Grab your sister." He chased after her, dodging the porcupine-balls that fall from GumballTrees that line our street. Thoroughly distracted by the drama of avoiding the pokey "gumballs" and Cassie escaping, his little arms flailing he managed to NOT get close enough to actually bring the drama to an end.

As she cleared our space and headed through the next yard, I noticed she was going to make it all the way to the cross-street, which is even quieter than our street, if possible. I also realized that Ron is faster than I am, by several degrees. I called "Ron! Get the baby!" He was playing with chalk on the driveway. He looked up, focused, dropped the chalk and was off like a shot. He never took his eyes off her. Barefoot, he didn't even slow down as he hit the sidewalk covered with "gumballs"! I don't think I've ever seen anyone move that fast. Ever. He reached her just as she paused at the edge of the street. I'm relatively sure she wouldn't have ventured into the street, but you never know. I do know that I'm glad he grabbed her, and hauled her back to the front porch.

What struck me most about the situation was their completely opposite reactions. Lee was all about the drama. Emotion rolling off him, excitement oozing out every pore. Ron was all about the resolution. Completely detached, completely focused on his goal to the exclusion of all else.

Most people might never even realize they're brothers. Except that they'll tell you in a heartbeat, often for no reason, with a great deal of pride. "Thats. My. Brother." We must be doing something right. Wonder what!?!

Make Waves

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