Have Kids they Said
(or how I loved and valued growing up together)
I just turned 22 when I married Steve and though we would both welcome kids asap, our son Jordan arrived a little before I turned 25. Of course we made the ‘mistake’ to think that if we had to wait the first time, the second wouldn’t surprise us that quickly… 13 months later our daughter Loïs arrived. As soon as she was born, Steve said: ‘well, we’ve got all available flavors now, so we’re good’ 😂
Coming from a big family himself (10 kids), he was more than fine with one of each and so was I. Not claiming to know how it feels to have twins – though often people thought they were – but I imagine the first couple of years with two toddlers came pretty close to it. But the very best part of it all was, that there has never been any jealousy, since they were so close in age. I can honestly say, we’ve been blessed with 2 great kids. I know, I know, every parent would tell you the same. So let me elaborate on that a little.
Besides the fact that we have a boy and a girl, they are also very different in character. We always felt this was particularly awesome, though it sometimes meant we were challenged in how to deal with them. But then I guess, we were no different than any other parents raising their kids. Pretty sure there are no two characters exactly the same. And we all know when kids arrive, there is no manual included. Don’t even think there would be enough data to contain it all.
I remember when I was pregnant the first time, Steve and I would joke about certain stuff. Such as: ‘let’s make a list of all our least appealing features’, hoping our kids would escape at least some of them but also trying to imagine what would happen if the babe would be ‘blessed’ with all of them 🙄 Uhm…Just No.
You all know I am of Indonesian descent, so that plus the fact that my Mom had pretty easy deliveries, convinced the midwife mine would be similar. Afterwards we could say, she got that totally right, having seen others with sometimes tough pregnancies, mine were kind of easy. All this time I really had only one wish – next to the babes being healthy of course: I would really like for them to not be born bald. Crazy, I know, but hey… That’s Me.
For sure I got my wish, they were both born with a full head of hair. Our daughter’s was already almost an inch long. The nurse who gave her her first bath in the hospital had never seen that before and had no idea what to do with it lol. The kids are still hearing that they ‘Stole Steve’s hair’…
As mentioned, Jordan had just turned 1 a month before Loïs arrived and there has never been any jealousy on his part. He was a happy, easygoing kid and basically stayed the same all the way into adulthood. Though being born from the two of us, he had his own tricks… He never crawled, but started walking one day out of the blue. Until his second birthday, he hardly spoke, until we returned from one of our holidays to Spain: he started talking and didn’t shut up the whole way, about a 20 hour drive. It’s like he just stored every bit of valuable information and then blew us away with using it all at once.
In the first week of school, he was 4 years old, he almost lost one eye, when one of his friends was a little too enthusiastic while playing and swinging a plastic shovel. At the age of – I guess he was 12 – he almost lost the other eye, when again one of his friends, was a little too eager while trying out an ‘arm power twister’ which sprang loose and hit our boy. Thank God for Divine Intervention.
Our son will not easily complain, is slow to get angry – so if you manage to get him there, you most likely deserve it – and is not hard to make friends with. For that part he really looks like Steve. You do have to make an effort though to really get to know him, which he probably gets from me lol. He is also a hard worker, takes his responsibilities seriously and is a real comedian. His terrific dry wit will always hit you square in da face.
Loïs – you’ve already ‘met’ in Creativity Flows – grew up with her own characteristics. Her first school years she was basically a loner and more than fine with it. She was always very much able to keep herself busy and content with anything related to crafts. However, while playing in the ‘hairdressers corner’, one of the girls thought it fun to actually cut some of her hair for real… Must have been too tempting all that long hair.
While she was learning to read and got ‘stuck’ at a certain level, we discovered she was suffering from dyslexia. We learned that visuals would greatly help her to understand any kind of assignment she had to complete. She has progressed so much that now, you can hardly perceive it anymore. She dealt with it (and still does) without ever trying to use it as an excuse to hide behind, though it was pretty hard on her sometimes. It didn’t make her school years any easier for sure.
Around that time, I also received a call from school about her being ‘aggressive’ in class. When I went over to hear what it was all about, I was flabbergasted: apparently something happened that made her angry enough to throw with chairs… While they were offended with her behavior, the first thing I said was: ‘So you actually Let Her do that? Do you think we would allow her to behave like that?’ the issue was quickly resolved after that. I mean, I had a pretty good relationship with their school, since I was part of the parents council. It surprised me to no end, that they let it come that far, knowing how I would think about it.
Loïs got more friends throughout the years, but is cautious and rightly so. Not many can be called a true friend after all. She is loyal to a fault and not afraid to speak her mind. She endures difficulties with her head held high and can outwit her brother with a couple of precisely placed words or looks, when he gets too sure of himself. You gotta understand, that verbal sparring is one of our most pleasant ways to pass time together 🤐 it absolutely sharpens the mind.
We were very strict, afterwards we sometimes talked about if maybe we were too strict at times. But they grew up knowing No was simply No and would only change to a Yes under very special circumstances. But we soon found out they discovered themselves what it meant to grow up without ‘enough parenting’, when watching others around them or visiting with friends. By now they’re all grown up and whenever we talk about parenting and the way they grew up, I think I can safely say: we didn’t do such a bad job at all.
Of course there are things they have in common too: they are bad at lying ( don’t make me a liar now), they won’t stand for being wrongly accused, they’re stubborn (wonder where that came from) or let’s call it Strong Willed and they’re being true to themselves. Let’s not make the list too long, you might think I’m biased.
Well it’s not the first time I am mentioning this here, but we didn’t really encountered any big issues while raising them. Most of the time, we had fun together even in the most difficult situations. Whenever we faced those, we aimed to go through it as a family, involving them as much as possible in what was going on. Of course our faith always played a big part in everything. Steve and I did our best to ‘grow up’ with the kids, deciding what they needed while getting older and adjusting rules accordingly.
When mistakes were made, some small some big, we apologized and talked about it. Since they were old enough to understand, we did our best to show that saying sorry might be difficult, but it’s a good thing to learn. Just as talking about it was and showing your emotions. And yes, some things take time – as well as a lot of Love – to heal. We are no saints, nor without fault, but learning together, makes it a lot easier in my opinion. Growing Together.
Does the above sound all too easy, yeah maybe. I don’t really wish to get too deep into any struggles for now. The point I’d wish to make today, is that raising kids for sure is a challenge, but also very educational and most of all fun and rewarding! Adding some extra kids in the mix just increased our joy. They keep us young and on our toes. The things we learned from our kids and still are learning… sometimes I suspect THEY DID Get a Manual.
Have a great weekend y’all! Enjoy some kids, any kids, It Will Be Fun ❤