My children are like little snowflakes. So different and yet so similar. The same profile, the same temper, the same intense eyes. And yet, one at the top of the growth charts and one at the bottom. One who eats anything in front of her and one who would live on bread and cheese.
I noticed their differences right away. In my sleep deprived state, any juxtaposition of their personalities was absolutely hilarious. It made me laugh that my son didn’t want anyone to touch him and my daughter would scoot across the bed as early as a few hours old to be close to me. He was highly reactive to stimuli and she much less so. In the end, it was incredibly helpful that they are so different as I could finally put my finger on the additional help my son needed.
These differences and unique qualities are what make each child who they are. It brings challenges to our parenting in that we have to consider the appropriate way to support each one. But isn’t it a beautiful discovery, each individuality? When you choose to parent with sensitivity it can become a daunting task to meet those needs. I suggest that instead of allowing ourselves to become too overwhelmed, that we take a moment to write down their strengths — those things that make each child beautiful — and then post them where you can see them frequently.
Reading those lists of strengths makes for an often timely reminder in my home. Long days with my small children, busy home and work sometimes leaves me in need of those lists. It does any parent! But as we live in a society that often asks if our babies are “good,” we may need the extra reminders. There is no such thing as a “good” baby, just as there is no “perfect” snowflake. Each child, each snowflake is beautiful in its own design. And those designs are the best reason for a celebration of individuality.