Around the time Vivvi turned one, I started to meet her. For her first 6 months, like any new mom, I was just trying to stay awake enough to not drive into oncoming traffic. For her second 6 months, we were madly house hunting in a market that suddenly became the most competitive it had been in a decade. Vivvi survived on her own somehow.

vivvi-slideBut as her personality started to pop, I realized why she came through so well. She is Miss Independent. And not in the fiercely, I can do it myself, independent manner of typical toddlers. In a, I am happy over here or over there, go-with-the-flow, give-me-a-fuzz-ball-to-study-and-I’m-good way. She started to do funny walks, not to entertain like her “look at me” big brother, but because of how interesting it felt to walk in that way. She was loopy, and a goofball, but for her own personal amusement.

Around this time, I started to realize—my kids are so different. Wally is his own person, so different from Vivvi. He needs me so much more than she ever has. As a colicky baby, he started his life this way. Sometimes I feel like he requires so much of me that is a vampire, sucking all my energy out of me and it’s never enough. It sounds horrible, but it is true. This means an insatiable desire for us to play with him, asking a million questions about everything (more than any other kid in his preschool class), and needing to know what is happening at all times and what is going to happen soon. It’s exhausting! But I do see its benefits. I think after his toddler years, where his intensity is amplified by trying to figure out the world around him, he will be such a cool, smart, inquisitive kid. He will never let the world tell him how it is, how things are. He will live deep, and suck the marrow out of life. And what parent wouldn’t want that for their kid?

Screen-Shot-2013-10-30-at-10.35.04-PMI see it this way—Wally is our sun, and Vivvi is our stars. He is intense, bright, full of energy (and he can sometimes be too much on a hot summer day). But he can also be warm, like that spot where the dog likes to sleep on your living room floor. He loves babies—he coddles them, laughs and their funny faces, and says “awwwww, look at those little feet”.

And our star—Vivvi—she sparkles. She is easy to look at and be around at all times. She sits in the sandbox for an hour, scooping sand onto her lap, and then brushing it off. She smiles at me when I come to tell her it’s time to go. She gives me neat little puckered kisses that last 30 seconds. She is beautiful through and through.

I guess my point is, our kids are not mostly our doing, or our fault, as the case may be. Yes, they are both ours. But 100 percent credit we cannot take. We raised them the same. We have loved them the same amount (but for different reasons). They are how they are because it’s how they are. There is some freedom in that—especially when WV throws the fit of his life at the library, or Vivvi pours the dog’s water an inch deep and thinks it’s hilarious when I am mad at her. And this idea that it isn’t 100 percent us—there is also (and mostly) a great wonder and amusement in that. I cannot control what this little unpredictable person does, and sometimes that is the best thing about my day—like when WV charms the new sitters by laughing at himself (like, isn’t this amusing?) while telling them he thinks there are monsters in the closet, or when Vivvi runs toward me pedal to the metal and takes a flying leap into my lap.


I love these kids. They are their own little people, our own little blessings. Our sun and our stars. I cannot imagine life without them. How lucky we are that they have been placed in our lives.

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