The other night we were sitting at the table, listening to a beautiful piece of music on YouTube, eating dinner.
N announced (probably because she didn't like her beans, the music wasn't from Moana, or we weren't watching Doc McStuffins) that she was "frustrated!". John, ever the logician, asked her if she knew what frustrated meant. She answered, so sure of herself: "It's when you get sad because you can't do the thing you really want to do".
A little while later, while staring at his own beans, S wistfully announced "Mummy, this music breaks my heart".
The statements from both kids were equally extraordinary. The kid-centric, but almost perfect, contextual definition of a difficult word, and the sensitivity and emotional intelligence of finding beauty in the melancholy of a song.
It might be easy to find twin-differences astounding... You go into it thinking that they'll do everything in tandem: taking their first steps, toilet-training, cutting teeth. (By the way, none of those things happened at the same time here - but you still kind of expect it.) So, when you see profound differences (in the ways they express themselves or the things they find moving, for instance) it can be even more thrilling. And, sometimes, these differences also serve to illustrate how strange gender-stereotyping is: girls are emotional, boys are analytical. These things are just not true.
Girls can be smart, analytical, brave, strong... Boys can be kind, gentle, sensitive, emotional... All kids can be all of those things. (They can also be excellent tantrum throwers, illogical and petty sometimes too.) I suppose, I'm just musing on the ways I can nurture these incredible traits in mine. Got any tips?