I sat in a room with a few other mothers, and a teacher came and whisked away our babies. We had to wait for an entire forty five minutes while they grilled our cherubs on the alphabet, counting and heaven knows what else.
I wished I brought a magazine.
One of the mothers was anxiously wondering what they "tested" them on. She wanted to know what they were doing in that classroom out of our view. It was obvious she was uncomfortable not being involved; she was definitely used to being in the "know." Seeing her question the other parents in the room, it occurred to me that I didn't think much about it at all. I knew this was her first child entering kindergarten. With my first, I remember desperately trying to understand every minute of his day away from me in kindergarten, with my second I didn't wonder quite as much.
All of this had me realizing the many differences from my first two and my last two munchkins. Bless all their tiny, adorable hearts.
My first two babies are achievers. They're more serious and I tell them much MUCH more often to relax. They raise my blood pressure with their moods and they take much more to heart than the kids lower in the pecking order. They worry. They think. They just have a more pensive approach to things that sometimes works in their favor. Sometimes it doesn't.
My third baby, is all about living. He jumps into every day head first and gets the party started. There is much less caution and much more doing. I imagine this mirrors what he experienced with me as a mom when he was a baby; I wasn't afraid anymore. I jumped into everything with more confidence than I did with my first two kids. My third carries much less around with him mentally, and can brush off much more than my older two can. All of this "living" is certainly a breath of fresh air at times, and at other times I'm just afraid to let him out my door for fear of what might happen.
My last baby has much more of my third child in her, with a tendency to just be happy and go about her business. Although she's much more cautious with new experiences, which is very welcome considering her older brother is constantly giving me heart attacks.
I do wonder how much of their behavior is a result of my behavior when they were young. How much I catered to them, praised them, pressured them and watched them. I sat with my oldest every afternoon practicing the alphabet before he went to kindergarten. Yet I was petrified to let him on that bus. I drove him every day instead.
The only reason my second rode the bus was because her brother was on it.
My third? Bus rider. And the only alphabet lessons he got was from his older sister when he had to sit and play school. Same goes for #4.
The world is full of first babies, second babies and babies born with many older siblings. The older we all get, it becomes less obvious who is who because the world has a way of shaping us. But I love how different my babies are, and I still cautiously learn with my oldest while sign papers without a thought for my youngest.
My sweet first baby will always pave the way for me and his younger siblings. Amen and oh crap. All at once. I'm just feeling blessed I get to experience first, second, third and fourth time mommy-ing. Every child has brought me a new adventure.
Happy Monday all. Make it awesome.