I've come to a conclusion about something. I have great children. I've have seen subtle evidence of this over the past couple of weeks.
As I've mentioned, Allison's new passion is the rock wall at the gym. She has amazed me at how far she has come, but something has amazed me even more than how far she climbs. I watch how she interacts with the others there. She is always chatting with someone, girls and boys, like she's known them forever. She helps others with getting their harnesses on before they take their turn. She will stand there and root for the others, calling out to them "Keep it up!" as they scale upwards, or "Great job!" as they come down, no matter how high they might have gotten. She is quite the little motivator, and I see a leader. Here is my show-off picture. I finally remembered to bring the camera with me!
Samantha, although she is three years younger, is decidedly more compassionate and emotional than her sister. Not that Ally isn't emotional and compassionate, but she is more of a head-thinker than a heart-thinker. Just yesterday I had thought I dropped one of my diamond earrings down our sink drain, and after moaning about it for a few minutes (Bret was amazed that I only said "God Dammit" vs. the other things I might have said. See she can learn some restraint!), Sam came up to me, said "sorry mama," and rubbed my back. What a beautiful gesture from a 5 year old! A week or so ago at the mall, they have this small play area for the kids to romp around in. She was also helpful, offering a hand to other children who wanted to get up on top of the equipment the way she had. She also loved playing with the babies crawling around, but I think that is because she doesn't have a younger sibling and never gets to be in the older sibling position (and NO, since you all might be thinking it, there will never be an opportunity for her to be an older sibling!).
Both of their birthdays were last week. Samantha was so excited to be turning 5! Because she finally was old enough to try to rock wall, just like her sister! She is in the black, but I took it from further away to show the perspective of how well she did on her first try:
So here I sit, as the birthday excitement from the huge party fades into the distance, and I listen to my children in the other room, another year older, alternating screaming and playing with each other. And I love the sound. You always hear of mothers saying they never want their kids to grow up. I, for one, want them to. I love watching them grow and evolve. I am excited and anxious to see their successes and their failures, and see how they deal with both. To see the sort of adults they will become, and to see the lives they make for themselves someday.
If how they are now is any foreshadowing into how they will be as adults, well then all I can say is this:
I have great children.