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Friday, February 01, 2008


who and what are you?

Have you ever thought about personalities and how we get them? We know the clichés-kids from the same family, same parents will be total opposites. Is it the birth order? Is it the inexperience of the parents with #1 that makes #2 and beyond different once they get some knowledge on what to do with their little darlings?

I was nicknamed “the altacuppe”. In Yiddish it translates into the “old head”. Meaning I was always acting very mature and wise. My sister always needed watching. Not that she did anything “wrong”-you wouldn’t dare in my parents home, but all the same, she needed more tending to. She also dared to do a lot more stuff than I dreamed of doing.

Maybe it was due to my rather “sickly” nature. I was the one who was always coming down with something, had something or was just over something. Therefore, I was home a lot with my mom having coffee with her and one of her friends. That started before I was 9. Coffee is still an addiction.

How “childlike” could I be when I would hang out with adults most of the time. When I was able to be with kids my own age, the other parents would put me in charge. They knew I’d be the first to point out to the other kids, whatever screwy idea they were dreaming up, wasn’t very smart.

In those years-I wasn’t very tactful either. I’d come right out and tell my friends “what on earth do you think you’re trying to do??? Stop it, stop it now. Let’s go get out the monopoly or scrabble board and do something really fun.”

I must have been FUN. Somehow, the kids would always shrug and say “okay, let’s go”
Either that or they were really wimpy.

Now my sister, she was the one who was the instigator. She’d be the one coming up with the plans to “make money”, talk a parent into letting her and her friends to have a party, going out to the fraternity parties, etc…

To this day, my sister must have a three-ring circus at all times. She can’t sit still. Not even when she had an accident that shattered her knee cap. The woman wanted to go to a neighbor’s get-together a couple of days after surgery!

I look at my two-Sarah, the serious one. Okay, she was also the one who I’d wonder what the h-e-double hockey sticks she was thinking on some of what she did-but in general, she’s the serious one. Not one for partying or needing something to do every minute. Sarah has always been my one to buck the system, in only the most proper of ways.

Adam, he’s the one who was “always getting something, having something, or getting over something”. Yet, he was captain of 3 of 4 high school soccer teams, always captain of his club teams, active and going to parties. Very social. He also relied on his given good looks-too much at times. But he knows how to work the system and make it work for him.

As a parent, I think if you have more than one, you tend to worry about one kid more than the others. Of course this changes, depending on what’s going on in theirs or your lives. But that’s the nature of parenthood.

At one point, we thought Adam had cancer, followed by the next year when he had a tumor in the top of his mouth. We worried about him.

For several years, Sarah went through a horrible time with stuff no child should have to go through. Then, we had our hearts in our mouths for her.

It was Adam’s turn again when he broke up with his first real love. After that we worried again for Sarah with some serious surgery.

You get the idea-parental flip-flopping with whatever misery you precious child is going through. And we get older, grayer and more worried. It never stops.

Right now, its Sarah’s turn to have us put on our worry caps.

What about your family? Is there one person whose personality or choices you have worried about or questioned? One who needs more attention or guidance?

That’s another thing we parents do-we ask other parents if their kids do some of the same things-we don’t want our kids to be carbon copies of each other or our friends kids, but we want to know that they also aren’t doing anything completely off the wall!

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