One of the most important things my kids teach me on a daily basis is that I am not in charge around here. Oh sure, when I call they come. When I say no TV, it’s no TV. But I can’t tell them, “Be this kind of person,” and have them obey. I can’t change Stephen’s hot-blooded temper. That’s just how he is and I can only respond to it. I can’t make Eamon like broccoli; I can only tell him no dessert if he doesn’t eat it.
And I can’t make my 10 year old Kateri anything other than she is either. After she took a shower last night, I helped her comb through her hair and twist it into braids before bed. That way, when we took out the braids this morning, her light brown hair fell in soft waves upon her shoulders. I carefully combed it out and clipped it partly up in a barrette to keep her growing-out bangs from falling over her eyes.
“All done?” she asked impatiently. When I said yes, she grabbed her St. Louis baseball cap, pulled those gentle waves through the back of it, and ran out the door yelling, “Alriiiight! Bull frog hunting!”
Nope, there’s no making this girl any different. The thing that surprises me most about my kids’ diverse personalities, though, is how very differently I am able to love each and every one of them. And how I wouldn’t want to change them even if I could.