Thursday, November 20, 2008

Benjamin and babies

The Bumpo seat. He loves this thing. I think he feels like a big boy looking around. Another added bonus is I think it wears him out more to be sitting upright and working those neck and core muscles a little. He seems to sleep better when he has spent some time upright. He is not so in love with tummy time. I know we need to do more of it...but he no likes. It is hard to appreciate his pale blue eyes in this picture. Lilianna had deep, dark blue eyes when she was younger and now they are slowly turning green - like my eyes. I think that Benjamin is going to remain a blue eyed heartbreaker like his dad. He is a lot more fun now that he smiles and laughs and has a little tickle spot on his chest. You can see his little apnea monitor leads...I am hoping that the next time we visit the pediatrician we can stop his caffeine and then start getting close to losing this annoying monitor.

We started at the new babysitter on Monday, who I think is going to work out sooooo good. I have been so busy that I haven't had a good chance to talk with her about the kids...but she did leave me a message that everything was going well and everyone appears to have settled in. She told Keith yesterday that she is completely amazed with how smart Zeb is. She has been in childcare a long time and she is totally impressed with his problem solving skills and she feels like he plays with the toys in a much more advanced way than a 2 year old normally now I can officially say it...Zeb is a genius. It is confirmed. Haha. Lilianna is a gorgeous model with unique insight into human behavior, Zeb is a genius and Benjamin is going to have to be the blond one...oh wait that is Charlie's Angels.

I was thinking about that today though (while in the shower marvelling at how clean the shower was.....actually the only clean section of our house right now!)....Having a large family is fun because I get to see these kids developing into special and very different little people. I think with just one child or even with 2 kids you don't get to see the magnificent diversity of childhood. I am not sure if what I am going to say next is politically correct...but whatever. With our biologic kids I purposefully look for certain things to be developing...Like with Lilianna. One of my greatest joys in life is dancing. I don't dance anymore...but I derive a great feeling of freedom and joy with movement and intention in my movement if that makes sense. Lilianna has started dance class and I look for that in her and have this expectation that she will enjoy moving and dancing as much as I did. Her dad is a musician so I look for her and expect her to have an appreciation of music. I will say that she has definitely prospered into a little singer...she love to sing. I recognize that is totally her thing..but I watched her in her dance class on Tuesday and she is pretty good.

Zeb is completely and 100% devoid of these expectations that have developed for Lilianna. So every little thing with him is a huge surprise and I encourage whatever it is he is doing. That being said...this little guy is a dancing machine. Seriously, he will bust a tricky move to anything that even remotely has a beat. He is definitely my little dancer and he loves to move to music. I wish I could remove those little expectations I have for my bio kids, but they are there.

Keith has recently been talking about O is lanky and uncoordinated just like he was when he was a kid. I definitely see similarities between O and his dad, but is it a dangerous trap to fall into projecting our experiences, short-c0mings, and successess on our kids just because they have our eyes or our uncoordination? We are and will be 100% supportive of whatever our kids want to do or class, basketball, singing class whatever. There are these little unavoidable expectations we have though and it is hard to try to ignore them.

I am rambling on and the more words I use the more diluted my thoughts are becoming...I know. The gyst of my musings today is that when Lilianna sings and dances...I smile, enjoy and encourage her. When she throws a temper tantrum and slams her door....well lets face it....that was me when I was 5yrs old until.... ummmm yesterday. When Zeb sings and dances it is an unexpected, unanticipated, and wonderful surprise. Everything he does and all that he is becoming is all Zeb with no baggage of this was mom when she was 5. I fully anticipate him to throw temper tantrums and slam doors too...but when he does I know I will find more joy in it with him than I do with Lilianna because it is not anticipated.

I have never suffered from infertility, I know many people in the adoption community come to adoption through stuggles with fertility. I understand that many people who travel that path feel like they may be missing something by not having biologic kids that they will be able to see their own eyes, or lankiness, or love for music in. I find so much joy in the surprises of Zeb's development. I am writing this part with tears in my eyes because every day he surprises me with some little quirk that is so wonderfully Zeb. Adoption is such a super-wonderful way to grow a family and has added so much joy to my life.


Shannon said...

What a dolly! Very interesting post today! Having been "one of those" who arrived at adoption through infertility, I'll add my .02. While years ago I did greive knowing that I would not have a biological connection to my child, I have now ended up at the total opposite end of the spectrum. I totally "get" your feelings of amazement at everything our adopted kids do and say. It's like every action is so totally out of the blue and unexpected - I can't help but love every minute of it and wonder what's coming next. I will say, though, that even though we do not have a biological connection to our son, he does exhibit attitudes and behaviors unique to each of us - he is most definitely not just a product of biology. He is a product of his environment, our influence and his past. Any way you slice it, kids are truly an amazing gift!

The Stevens said...

Great Post!!! Now I am getting anxious to start the wonderful journey of parenthood through adoption!

Michelle said...

Shannon - you are so right about nurture and environment. Z and Lilianna have so many behaviors in common it is great! The difference is I expect Lilianna to have some of these behaviors...that are clearly learned....but when I see them in Zeb they are unexpected. I hope I am explaining it the right way!

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power