The Same, But Different

People often tell me how much my girls look like each other.  Or have the same mannerisms, or even personality.  When Little One went from contacts to glasses, at school the next day she heard from everyone how much she looked like her big sister.  People who know Little One first will tell Oldest One how much she looks like her little sister when they meet her.  I know the girls don’t mind when people say that, so I always smile, and say they do resemble each other/have the same smile/wave the same way.  And they do.  But, they don’t.

It’s obvious they are related, but as their Mom I see the differences.  I really don’t think they look alike, even though they do.  I see them with totally different personalities, even though they have a lot of the same quirks.  I’m sure it is because I’m their Mom that I see all the differences, and that I want to celebrate their differences, even as I think it is great people see them as so similar.

As the Mom, I’ve learned that it’s important I do see their differences.  The other day Little One had her friend over, and they were watching TV in the family room with me.  They were watching Sponge Bob, and the commercials were all toys for younger kids, so I make a joke about the age of the viewer being targeted and her age.  Oldest One would have come back with some smart remark, and on we would go trying to up each other with remarks, and laughing.  Little One got mad right away, turned off the TV, and took her friend upstairs.

I’ve always tried to be very fair with the girls, and make sure I meet their needs in the best way for them, and not their sister.  But no matter how hard I try, it doesn’t always work.  And, as I saw the other day, even how I joke with them needs to be different.  I don’t see that as a bad thing, just something I need to be mindful of.  I want my girls to grow up to be strong woman who believe in themselves and their capabilities.  I don’t want to ever make one feel inferior to the other, or that they have to be each other.

Yesterday I let Little One pick the movie (one of the too many Hallmark Holiday movies we’ve got on the DVR) and we had a great time watching the movie, getting mad at the mean character, and cheering for the main character.  We even made plans to do hot chocolate one night this week.  Oldest One would not have liked the movie, been bored, and started on her phone.  She would have been completely on board for the hot chocolate.  Different kids, different likes.

I’m glad the girls don’t mind other people seeing how alike they look and act.  I’m glad they are close enough that they even point it out to others.  I just need to remember, and embrace, their differences, so that they feel understood and loved for what makes them special as individuals.

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