We recently took Owen in for a speech evaluation. As part of the developmental information they asked me to fill out (things like 'when did he first sit up on his own?'--I was supposed to remember that? I'm failing my "tests of Motherhood!") one of the questions it asked was what my child's first words were.
After snorting over the question, I sat back to think If I actually could remember Owen's first word. And I did remember it: "Wow." Really--it was hilarious. It was followed by "Uh-oh" and then a series of object names belonging to his favorite things.
So then I wondered if I could remember--from not quite as long ago--specifically what Jonas' first word was. It was "Up." (His second word may or may not have been "wa...ch" (a movie), no actually I think it was really yelling "chi-chi-chi-chi. . ." as he chased frightened chickens around the backyard.)
But I've been pondering over those two first words of my two boys, and realizing how much those two words tell about the different personalities of my two boys.
See, when we found out we were having a second son, it was hard to think of it any other way besides, "Ok, another little Owen," because that's all the experience we had as parents. But the truth is Owen and Jonas are very much individuals and have totally different personalities that were visible from a young age.
By six months of age Owen was crawling away from me at story time to go check out what those other babies were doing. His first word was "Wow!" As in: look at all the neat things that are going on in the world around me--I want to go check them out! That's Owen. "Mr. Independence."
At 18 months Jonas is still not interested in leaving my lap at story time. He actually cries when I leave him in nursery at church, as opposed to running ahead of me down the hall to get to nursery faster like Owen would. His first word was "Up." As in: Pick me up Mom, I want to see what's going on around me. . . from the safe vantage point of your arms.
My boys are different, and it's good. Jonas--who is so much more than a second Owen--is cuddly and affectionate and shows me all the devoted love I need. (The love I only thought I'd be shown by a baby girl.) He is growing up so fast--and becoming such a little boy--so I'm grateful for the extended mom and baby time we spent together, grateful I nursed him 18 months, grateful he still loves to be cuddled, grateful he taught me how to love him, and grateful that he is a boy.