The craziest thing to me since we had the boys is how much better I understand myself and James. This may seem weird, but hear me out. Before we had kids, there were parts of James and parts of myself that used to really frustrate me. I didn’t understand them and I wished we could both just do things differently when it came to certain aspects of our personalities.
So when we had the boys and they started to show us who they were at a very young age – it was really kind of trippy to see that so many of their characteristics were exactly those things that used to drive me crazy about myself or about James. But for some reason, when your kiddo is doing it – you find it much more endearing and are more understanding about it than you are with yourself or your spouse. You know?
For example… Gabie (while also very much like James in many ways) tends to carry a lot of my personality traits…
- He’s Type A (The boy likes to set up train tracks and Micah dare not mess them up or touch them. He lines up his cars in a perfect row. He does not like to have his hands dirty and immediately needs them wiped if something is on him.)
- He’s emotional – things bother him easily. He can be supremely happy, but on the flip can also get reaaaaaally upset easily and has a hard time coming out from it.
- He loves his veggies and fruit, and would prefer to mostly not eat meat unless it’s a cheeseburger, chicken (only in breaded/fried tender form) or a few select other things.
- Speaking of food – he’s basically always hungry. The boy can eat all day and still be a little skinny minny.
- He loves people and loves them hard, but he wants to be in control of when and how he shows it. He’s not super touchy/lovey, but he does thrive on feeling loved and likes to cuddle. (Again, as long as he initiated it. haha)
Micah (while also very much like me in many ways) tends to carry a lot of James’ personality traits…
- He’s highly energetic and very physical. He needs to burn energy and was trying to wrestle with Gabe basically since he could move enough to wrestle (around 6 months old)! haha
- He’s super chill, shares readily, and is always looking out for Gabe. He really will do anything to make Gabie happy (almost).
- He has a Hulk-like switch that can flip if he suddenly becomes decidedly not chill. Certain things can really upset him and it is really a different person from our normally chill/happy dude! This rarely comes out – but it is in him.
- He is soooo incredibly loving, affectionate and physical with his love. He says “I love you” to us all the time and knew from a pretty young age what it meant. His love language is definitely physical touch and he could hug/cuddle/kiss on us and Gabe all day long.
- He loves his chicken/meat. haha. He makes up for whatever meat Gabe refuses to eat, because Micah will eat it all.
We’ve learned all of these things about our boys and in turn – realized more clearly who our spouse truly is as well. You could substitute my name for Gabe’s and James’ name for Micah’s above and that is basically us/our marriage in a nutshell. I love Micah so deeply for all the things listed above, and in turn it helped me realize that James was just born the way he is as well! Now I love him even more deeply for those things above too.
I used to go nuts dodging James’ “handsy” tendencies… always grabbing at me, kissing me, squeezing me, harassing me… haha. Now I see that same thing in Micah and it all just makes so much more sense. They are just SO incredibly affectionate and want to show their love to their people! How can we deny them that love?! On the reverse side, James also sees how Gabe is and understands so much more that that just isn’t how I’m built, which is why I’m often running from him as he is chasing me down. haha. He sees now (through Gabe) that I need more space and like to be in control of how I show my affections. This means that we both try harder to meet in the middle, and at the very least – don’t get as easily frustrated because we have a better understanding of the situation having seen it from the outside with our own boys!
This is just a small example of the ways that our kiddos have made us more patient and loving spouses towards one another, and honestly I can’t wait to see what more we learn about each other when baby girl arrives too. I’m so curious to see what she’s like and who she truly is. Will she sleep like Gabe, be up at the crack of dawn like Micah, or totally do her own thing all together?! I am so excited to meet her and see!
Do any other parents out there feel me? Do you see something in your child that is so inherently “you” that it almost freaks you out? Maybe you thought you were weird, or developed this trait in one way or another… but in reality – you realize now that you were literally just born that way? It kind of blows my mind, and it has been so good for James and I to better ‘see’ and understand one another.
Parenthood has been quite the trip in lots of difficult ways, but mostly just in really amazing, awe-inspiring ways. We are so grateful for it all.