Monday, August 27, 2007

A Demonstration of their Distinctive Natures

My children are...very different from one another.

This should come as a surprise to no one, I suppose, and yet...

And yet, still, somehow, I find it surprising.

Which is ridiculous, really. Even if they had both been born to me, the only logical thing to expect would be that they would not behave similarly. Other parents tell me this all the time - no two siblings are truly the same. Certainly this is true of Gabriel and Lana.

I was looking at a book of Chinese Zodiac signs on Saturday. (I'm going somewhere with this, just, bear with me.) (For what it's worth, I *AM* aware that Lana is not Chinese. Well, actually, I'm reasonably certain that her birth father probably WAS Chinese, based on her appearance*, but, that's not why I bring up the Chinese Zodiac. I bring it up because it is used in Vietnam as well.)

Anyway, Lana was born in the year of the Horse. (Specifically, 2002 was a Water Horse year.)

According to the book I was reading, the motto of those born in a year of the Horse is "I run free", and I cannot think of any motto more appropriate for Lana. She requires a lot of room to gallop, symbolically speaking. It is her nature. I am learning to accept this, but, it's all new to me.

Gabriel is a cautious child. He is contemplative. Lana is fearless. They are dark and light, yin and yang.

As I watched them swimming the other day, they set up a perfect visual explanation of their innate differences that I just have to share.

The each stood at the edge of the pool, with their backs to the water. They held hands and called out to me, "mommy, watch us do the 'plunge'". (Referring to the 'Nestea Plunge' wherein one falls backward into the water - they know this reference only from hearing adults refer to this activity as 'the Nestea Plunge', since I think Nestea retired that ad campaign decades ago - do they even make Nestea anymore?)

I turned my head to watch them. Gabriel extended his foot backwards, he dipped his toes into the water, as if to either assure himself that the water was still there, or that it was where he expected it to be. He then cautiously slipped gracefully backward into the water.

Lana, on the other hand, simply raised her arms and flung herself backward without a second glance. Lana leaps without looking.

They both emerged from the water with happy giggles.

Anyone want to lay a wager on which one of them is going to give me a heart attack someday?


*Please do not flame me or accuse me of being racist or ethnicist or some such nonsense for commenting on the fact that Lana looks Chinese. This is simple fact, reiterated to me by both Chinese and Vietnamese people. She doesn't "look Vietnamese." This doesn't change the fact that she *IS* Vietnamese, and I am in no way trying to erase her Vietnamese identity by remarking on this.


Blogger Space Mom said...

I wager Gabe will. Because you'll expect that from Lana!

My two are different also. My Monkey (2004) is much more reckless than my Horse(2002).

Funny, eh?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger maxhelcal said...

My 7 are all very different from one another. Steve and I have had many conversations conjuring up imaginary future scenarios about what they will be like as adults. Cal who we always thought would give us a heart attack because of his sense of adventure and free expression is starting to become very responsible and surprisingly more grounded than I could have ever imagined. Phoebe who was always a bit of a follower is becoming very independent these days. I am so thankful for that and I think Bronte was a big part of it. Who really knows what will evolve from their present personalities. It is fun to sit back and watch isn't it?

About Lana looking Chinese. While in Vietnam many of the people commented to us that they thought Bronte looked Korean. They actually nicknamed her "hanwoker" at the orphanage (which means Korean). Having 4 Korean children, I don't think she looks very Korean at all. I think our daughter Phoebe looks a bit more Chinese than Korean and when Helen first came home, we were told she looked part American by many Asian people we came upon because she was so fair and had very big round eyes. Now, ten years later, she looks the most "Korean" of them all. Go figure?


Tuesday, August 28, 2007 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Shamay said...

I also have one bio son and an adopted VN daughter and they are exactly the same type of yen/yang as your children! We call our baby girl 'princess spunky pants' because she is fearless, determined and generally amused by life. And she too "doesn't look Vietnamese" but maybe as if she has some Korean lineage too.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007 2:53:00 PM  

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