Girl is rapidly approaching her first birthday. She has taken a step here or there, but at this point mostly enjoys standing. Although she's been sitting since five months, clapping since six, and crawling since eight, she just learned to roll over this week. She has one tooth in plain view, and the teeniest sliver of the second right next to it. Her hair is long enough for clips, but she doesn't enjoy our touching it very much. It's telling that my pictures of her at this age are from my phone, and they are few. Below are a couple of the many many pictures I have of Boy at the same age. She eclipses him in size and verbal skills; he was sprouting a new tooth on what seemed like a weekly basis. They are completely different children and at times it's hard to see how they both came from the same batch of genetic material.
A number of friends are expecting their first child and inevitably I feel a bit wistful when I hear about the anticipation of the monumental earthquake that is parenthood. With each pregnancy, I would daydream about who this little person would be. With Girl, I had fewer opportunities to do so. Husband was in Iraq, and I was working/toddler-raising in India. Life was a bit of a distraction from the distraction of that daydream. When I grabbed the rare moment to focus on her, I pictured Boy in a dress. I figured we'd have a skinny brunette with a lot of attitude. She's recently started showing glimpses of sass, but her soft little blond self is nothing like I would have imagined. It's a reminder that for all of our imagining, our planning, our plotting, children are exactly who they are. They are brunette; they are blond. They are boys; they are girls. They are gay; they are straight. They are tall; they are short. They like pink; they like blue. Save for some genetic realities, there is little predicting who that teeny person is.
Girl didn't come out like I expected, she came out like she is. As she learns to talk and stand, and as she learns to grab crackers from her brother and hit him when he comes to retrieve them (what a bruiser!), I'm starting to see what that means. For all the anticipation of pregnancy, this is the real adventure.