As I watch Zoe grow, I am amused by her developing personality. I enjoy observing it emerge… and can only dream about the type of person she will one day be.
When she was born, we only had her physical features to compare with my husband’s and mine. People are still divided on who she resembles more – I guess she’s just a good mix of both. I’m sure this will be true of her personality as well. And yet I’m very aware that she is her own little person and of the many differences we have and will have in our childhood experiences.
I am the oldest grandchild on both sides – and we have a large family; so I grew up around all my first cousins. This meant lots of get-togethers, picnics, birthday parties, holidays… It was fun and I often think about how Zoe won’t have that same experience because we live so far away from family now. Neither does she have as many cousins her age.
At first I was really sad about this because I had such a strong sense of family and so did my husband. I want her to know my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins; and she will, but it will be in her own way. I remind myself it’s okay. She is not me and so she gets a whole different life.
I grew up in a small town in the country; she lives in one of the largest cities in the world. She has access to much more diversity and culture than I did. I lived in NY until I was 23; she’s already lived in two states. I saw most of my family every week growing up; she’s only met most of them once. (Thankfully, because of Skype, she gets to see them more often.) I lived in a big house with lots of land; she lives in a small apartment with little grass outside. She lives close to some very cool things that many people travel far to see.
Furthermore, it is mostly just the three of us during the week unless the babysitter is here. Though we do encounter others on our weekend adventures, her overall exposure to people is low. I was around lots of people from the start because of my mother’s salon.
Her need for playtime with other kids is on the horizon. I already joined some meet-ups so we can find some friends. This is another difference – my mom had a ton of friends that had kids my age so there was never a lack of options for play dates. Now I have to be conscious and determined to create a social life for the both of us.
And then pre-school and such are major decisions in the city. Co-op, private or public? My parents didn’t have the options we have for Zoe.
I never could have imagined this life for my child. I am so excited for her. My roots are strong, but my branches are wide. I hope the same for her – whatever that may look like.
Tell us in the comments section if your kids are growing up differently or similarly to your own childhood!