Wednesday, September 23, 2009

20 Months (part two)

Watching my two little ones interact and become best of friends is so incredibly heart-warming that I start to drown in bliss. They hold hands when we walk home from the park. They chase each other's tails whenever we find open space for them to run. Quinn wants to stay with Lucas when we drop him off at school in the morning. Lucas won't spend the night at Nanna & Nonno's or Grandma LaLa's unless Quinn is staying with him. They have the same laugh. They scream at the world together. They want the same toys and fight each other for them. It's very obvious that they love each other.

Don't get me wrong, it's not always a complete joy when they do some of these things. A shared toy can easily erupt into wailing of extreme decibels and they often get on each other's nerve. But I am so happy that they have each other.

I guess it's only natural to compare Quinn's developments along with our recollection of Lucas. Even though she is unique in her own way, she also is, and always will be, Lucas' little sister. We are way more lackadaisical over certain accomplishments, fewer pictures, less time devoted to her needs. She is falling into the classic second child syndrome, though she hardly seems affected by it. Her strong independent spirit and her vociferous nature has a way of overcoming some of these setbacks that life has handed her. I have a feeling that she's going to grow up having no difficulty expressing herself.

She has a personality that doesn't hide itself. It's out there and forceful and ambitious, the complete opposite of Lucas at her age. He's more reserved and holds onto his feelings and ideas until he feels comfortable in the room. It's probably going to work out naturally that he came before her. She's more equipped with handling second duties, though we are going to try our best to allow them equal access.

I started to think about the way humans affect each other. We are so interconnected that we are bound to adopt one another's behaviors. When I chose to be with Xtimu, I didn't consciously think about how I was going to change and be more like her or the other way around. I was just really in love with her and didn't want to be out of her presence. But then you have to create a life together. You become partners and in order for that to work you end up giving up certain habits or activities that don't fit in the new space that you share with that person. For the most part it works and I imagine that a lot of relationships that fall apart can be blamed on one person (or both) not compromising enough.

In my case the thing that I've recently given up is fantasy baseball. I've played fantasy baseball since I was eighteen and could probably go back even further than that because I used to play it when I was a kid with my baseball card obsession. It was something I always imagined doing because it's so easy to do nowadays and it doesn't really invade into other aspects of your life, unless you're crazy about it, which I'm not.

Well, even though she's an ex-cheerleader, Xtimu doesn't like organized professional sports for all of the typical reasons, with the ungodly amount of money wasted on them in general being the most glaringly obvious one. She tolerated my fantasy baseball addiction because I wasn't totally obsessive about it, though I'm sure she raised an eyebrow or two in my direction when my statistic analysis got out of hand. But for some reason, as my years wane on, I find that I lose interest in this pursuit very quickly as the season progresses. I simply can find no other meaning in it than wasting as much free time as possible and since I'm having difficulty with using my time as efficiently as possible already, it seemed very easy giving up fantasy baseball.

I grew up with baseball, played it my entire life and love the nuances of it. I always thought that it would be an eventful part of my life and when we had kids, I always thought that it would be in their lives. But as I look at the structure that I want to instill as a parent into their lives, the bones of their development, I find that many of the activities that I thought provided value in my own life when I was a kid aren't really so precious. I'm sure that both Quinn and Lucas would enjoy little league baseball if they ever played it but is it something that will be incredibly valuable for their human development?

I was talking to a friend of the family and he was asking me about the sports that I indulged in when I was a youth. Baseball was obviously at the top of the list and he immediately started pestering me about getting our kids involved right away and pushing them so that they can excel in the sport, possibly even enough to become a professional. First of all I was wondering why someone who hardly knows me is trying to guide my hand as a parent in such a domineering way and secondly I totally realized that I don't want to make any of those decisions for my children. I want to give them as much awareness and development with many aspects of this human condition and when they're ready they can decide what they want to do with that knowledge. So I'm sure that I'll teach Quinn and Lucas all about certain athletic endeavors that I support and they'll continue to advance with their music training and scholastically I want every advantage for them but all of that is in place so that they can develop on their own terms.

We bring our own prejudices and awareness to everything that we give to them in this life. There will be certain aspects of their behavior and personality that reminds us so much of ourselves. That's the karmic residue that becomes part of our character. Sometimes we choose it, like Xtimu and I deciding that we couldn't ever be apart from one another, and sometimes we're stuck with it, a familial burden if you will. I guess some of us are luckier than others.

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