It is rare that my husband and I get to pick the Boy and Girl Children up from school together. Usually he drops them off in the morning and I pick them up in the afternoon. We are fortunate to be able to work around their school schedule and we don't take that for granted. Sometimes my husband works on Saturdays and when he does, he has a day off during the week. So we got to go together.
The Boy Child entered the car with his usual enthusiasm. He said happily, "The whole family is in the car!" The Girl Child was quick to remind him that Ginger wasn't there and we were not, therefore, whole. She's like that.
Boy Child was especially excited because his teacher had informed him that day that one of his paintings was to be in an art show. He gave me the paperwork and it's...well, it's sort of a big deal art show. Or as big of a deal as a public school would get involved in anyway. The prizes are pretty major. One of them is a scholarship to an art school.
I was thrilled. Beyond thrilled. It's hard for me to be believable when I say this since I'm the kids mother, but he's an amazingly talented artist. He has an eye for detail that absolutely floors me. Not only that, the kid is pretty much a comedic genius. And I swear to Frog, I'm not saying that just because I'm his mother. I'm really not. I promise.
The Girl Child, however, looked less than thrilled. She sat in the backseat, her hoodie nearly covering her face, staring out the window with her arms folded.
Inside? I sighed.
I have two very different children and I've always really hated when people tried to lump them together. I heard "the twins" about eight hundred million times before they turned five. I got to a point where I would politely ask people to refer to them by their names because, yes, they were born on the same day but didn't even look alike and they certainly didn't act alike. But they are really no more alike than any other brother and sister, right?
I geared myself up for the conversation that I was, surprisingly, sure I was going to have to have with my less sensitive child. Surprising because, well, she's the less sensitive of the two. She's the mother. The nurturer. She's the one that for many, many years quietly celebrated her own victories so her more sensitive brother wouldn't wallow in his struggles. I am certainly not accustomed to smoothing this child's feelings. Not my girl.
We arrived home and I took her aside and said, "Are you sure you're okay?"
Immediately, tears filled her eyes.
"Brother is probably going to get a scholarship to art school," she sighed.
"Isn't it wonderful?" I asked her. "He's so talented! Aren't you proud of your brother?"
I hate to admit this but in that moment I was a little bit irritated with the Girl Child. Frustrated.
This is the thing he's best at in the whole world! Why can't she just give him his moment!
She's stronger academically. As a black belt, I'm fairly certain she can kick anyones butt six ways of Sunday and do so without chipping one perfectly polished toenail. She has self-confidence and grace that women three times her age admire. More than that? She's got spunk. I've never met anyone who so effortlessly flows the way she does.
She's amazing. She does so many amazing things that I just couldn't understand why she wasn't happy for her brother and his amazingness.
"I always thought..." she paused. "I always thought we'd go to college together."
Really no more alike than any other brother and sister...
Once again, mom gets schooled.
I will really probably never understand the way they love each other and the special bond they have. But I will forever admire, respect and appreciate it.