did you ever look at your children, and wonder how the hell you could have 4 such diverse individuals with the same DNA?
I have 4 incredible children, all of whom i love much more than they realise…no matter how often you tell them, the world knocks the belief out of them…
Jimmy and I are, as daughter once famously described us…”bipolar” – let me hasten to add that thankfully neither of us is bi-polar, BUT Jimmy is as laid back, as glass-half-full as I am a worrier, the real negative what-if viewpoint where the glass-is-almost-empty!!!
Our eldest child…our only daughter…is a beautiful girl. Aged 21.She is incredibly capable , argues her own corner, loves Maths – and therefore is a natural problem solver. She has a massive sense of her own opinion which i admire so much…as she squared up to a doctor aged 14 and said “i understand what you are saying, and i know that is your opinion, but we have been taught to have our own opinion, and i do not agree with you!”…i knew then we had made her strong. She is a self-critic…as her perfectionist standards are hard to live up to. She uses maths to de-stress (as i did for many years…the only problem in life that can ever be fully PERFECTLY solved!). But she does as a problem solver find ways to solve the problem from outside the box. She has an inbuilt tendency to over work, which we tried for years to explain was not needed…some day she will find the right balance . She has something incredible to offer the world. She won’t be restrained by the limitations of a job-title, in a little drawn out silo, but will want to be great at what she does. …and will be.
Would i change anything for her? I would love her to see herself as positively as others do, and not to set herself such hard standards.
Our second child- manchild…is 19 and so like his father it is frightening! He has laid back, almost older man’s personality. He relates to anyone over a cuppa, or a pint. His life revolves around football. A hugely capable student, he managed to discover the secret of getting exactly what you need… AAB, meant why would i need AAA. There are times when you physically would need to use an ejector seat to get him to revise…but not so much now, as has found a college and a course he loves. He has housemates so like him, that works. He is a professional fridge gazer…and floordrober…although strangely the floordrobe has shrunk. He is easy going in every situation except preparation for work placement, and is a pit bull on a Gaelic pitch. He still asks to be treated like the Irish son…appointments made for him…
What would i change in him? I would love him to realise how capable he is, as he will never PUSH himself, if less will do…but am strangely suspicious that if this course is tight, he may just do that himself.
Child number 3..our 12 yr old son who has Asperger’s syndrome. He is a dichotomy. His condition would imply he has many issues in his personality which could cause major difficulties, but because we have discussed, explained, explored, and made decisions about the life he wants, he has in fact learnt to almost turn around the traits he should have….although they are learnt skills. He is kind, and aware of peoples feelings, he has a wicked sense of humour. He is the most self-confident of our children. He is so happy in his own skin. He is a mini ambassador for how to work with your ability and learn how to manage complex situations and demands. He hates unfairness. He really thinks outside the box! His has normal IQ and is managing very well at school as we have guidance in place and school work closely with us! He mixes well, and integrates well. So far so good.
Could i pick something to change for him? other parent’s fear of the condition. So maybe change peoples understanding of Asperger’s Other than that, maybe share out a bit of his confidence with the others?
And the baby of the house, is our 10 year old son. He has had in many ways to help caring and making adjustments to be so close to his Asperger’s brother. So he has an incredibly caring personality!…too much…he is the mini me worrier. He is the only one of our children who loves animals and the environment. He is another self-critic. ..no homework task should be less than PERFECT!. He is very academically gifted, and very good at ALL sports…a bit like manchild…who he idolises! But he as the perfectionist gene…and i do think it is a gene (and it must be mine) which he tortures himself with. He is very affectionate, very vulnerable as he is so emotionally open. He has a leftie streak – injustice bothers him, and he would be the one who would tend to watch the news for atrocities and natural disasters. He listens with understanding (beyond his years) politics and questions the injustices… (and rightly so!). He thankfully has a wicked sense of humour, and absolutely loves the bit of rudeness of the Mrs Browns Boys…:)
What would i change for him? Tell him that i tortured myself as the eldest of the house and wanted to sort out the world, but i couldn’t and he needs to just enjoy being him and all his beautiful qualities….
NO i did not have 4 affairs
NO i did not adopt my children
PLEASE tell me that other parents wonder how the HELL they have 4 such different mixes of the same DNA?