Before having kids, I would often wonder about my future children. What color hair would they have? Would they favor me or my husband? Would they be colorblind like my brothers? When I was reaching the end of my pregnancy with my firstborn, my sister-in-law told me that she had a theory about babies; they would tell you exactly who they were when they were born. You just had to pay attention. She went on to describe how her oldest child came out and took a while to take in what was happening around him before crying. Even now as a grown man, he has to observe and process the situation around him before reacting. As I left her house that night, I took what she said with a grain of salt … After all, this is the same sister-in-law who tried to convince the whole family to highlight their hair with lemon juice and thinks that she has slight psychic abilities. It wasn’t until I became a mother myself that I realized just how right she was.
When I was induced one week past my due date, my daughter definitely let us know what kind of person she was. After being in labor for about 24 hours, I began to push. Every time that I rested between contractions, she would go back up the birth canal. She was upward facing when she should’ve been facing down. Her hands were by her ears instead of down at her side. At every turn, my daughter was showing us that she was going to do things HER way. After three exhausting hours of pushing, she finally made her grand appearance. I can still remember that first night staring at her and telling my husband that I was simultaneously scared to death to raise such a strong willed child and proud as hell that my daughter wasn’t going to take any sh*t from anyone (not even me). To this day, my feisty little girl is not scared to let her opinions be heard.
A little less than two years later, I was back in the delivery room. This time for my son. In stark contrast to his sister, my little boy was born after a grand total of four minutes of pushing. He came into this world as smooth as butter. As my sister-in-law theorized, this child is the most easy going child, just like his birth. While his sister wants to be in charge of most situations, my son just goes with the flow in his own humorous little way.
Maya Angelou once said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” I always used to think that quote was talking about adults, but now I can see that this applies to anyone — even our own children. You just need to pay attention.