As the mother of 4 you would think I would know better. That even though your children have the same parents and are brought up in the same environment with similar parenting; that they will not be the same; they will all be different. Thomas being special needs is his own category, however we enforced the same rules for him as we did for the girls. That doesn’t mean that our style of parenting worked for him, it didn’t but we didn’t know what he needed at the time.
In retrospect our older girls were so, so typical. Like they met each and every milestone exactly when they were supposed to. No matter what age or stage of their growth and development. Even into young adulthood. I won’t say we had it particularly easy with Lelly and Alyssa because even neurotypical children have their challenges. For instance Alyssa sailed through junior high and had a great, fun experience, I was very happy for her because my junior high years were hell. So I couldn’t help but expect the same for Lelly. Wrong. My girl was bullied, not cool. And to make matters even more weird she was bullied by a girl she’d known and had been friendly with since pre-k! Freaking weirdo bully. She mysteriously stopped when I called their house and left a message to speak to her mother who I also knew since the girls were in pre-k. Shocker.
Alyssa is my very sweet, easy going but not a pushover oldest girl. She has so many oldest child traits and I love that about her. After watching Thomas meet his milestones late or not at all; It was refreshing to watch Alyssa grow as if she read the book on what she was supposed to do next. I thanked God for her every day back then. I was so grateful she was so typical.
Lelly is my middle girl and has been on the run since she was a toddler. My earliest walker at 11 months and quickly turned into my earliest runner as well as the child to climb out of the crib earliest at 11 months old. I cried when she was out of the crib because she was so difficult to contain. My Lelly. She was a riot and quick to make you laugh. She still makes me laugh like no one else, except my husband. She is also wonderfully typical but with her own Lelly flair. And that’s ok. She graduated high school early, began college early and graduated college early. I would expect nothing less from my “runner”. She landed a great job out of college and before I knew it we were helping her move into her own apartment in Manhattan. I never thought I would be as sad as I was when Lelly moved out. But all it’s well now and we’ve adjusted.
Our youngest daughter, Sam… is giving us a run for our money. She’s also a typical child meeting every milestone early or on time. She was my baby after 2 losses. I totally enjoyed her babyhood, I also had a helper (Alyssa) who was in love with her little sister. Sam growing up however has been quick to display to us what it is like be a person of extremes. Extremely independent, extremely outspoken as well as extreme in acting her age. My older girls did at different points in their lives express to their father and I how little we know about life when they were teens. Sam takes it to the nth degree. There are times I wonder how I made it this far being so very clueless about life in general. Sam is just so very different than her siblings. And that’s ok, it really is. She does talk to me, like really talks to me, about her life, how she sees the world, what’s really going on with her friends. Important things. I appreciate her for that. I could use just a little less of the extremes.