Thursday, September 17, 2009


1 : partly or totally unlike in nature, form, or quality : dissimilar different>
2 : not the same: as a : distinct

A and B both participate in a program at school that pulls them out of their regular classroom for enrichment. Each year, this program sends home information for a fundraiser. Each year, I ignore it. It's not that I don't like the program. I love it. I just hate fundraisers.

This week, B came home on Wednesday and as I looked through her folder she saw the fund raising information and said, "I want to do that! If I sell blah, I get blah blah. I can ask Blah and Blah and Blah. Can I take it to church, too? Will Daddy take it to work for me?" In the face of her enthusiasm, I couldn't say no. I mentally added the cost of a magazine subscription to my monthly budget and waited for A to demand I do the same for her.

But the next day, A came home from enrichment. As I looked through her folder, she said, "I asked the teacher not to give me the fund raising information. I don't want to do it." Her reaction was so different from her sister's. Now, this shouldn't surprise me. They are very distinct individuals and have been from the start. But it still catches me off guard sometimes.

When I was pregnant with my second child and found out it was another girl, I had a flash of disappointment and thought to myself, "Oh, that's too bad. I know what girls are like." To this day, I think God must have had a good laugh as he made B. She is not at all like the girl I already had and I marvel that I could ever have been so simpleminded and shortsighted. When K came along, I knew better than to think she would be like her sisters.

My daughters do share some traits: they are all imaginative, books are beloved and brown eyes rule the day. But they are so unlike in nature, form, or quality that it amazes me that they have the same set of parents.

I can't quite put into words how much I love this about them. I love that they each bring their own gifts, talents and quirks to the family table. I love that they learn from each other, riff off of each other's inventions and create unseen worlds populated only by them.

I used to hate anything different about myself. I longed to blend it, fit in, fade into the background. My daughters have taught me many things, but one of the best lessons they've taught me is how beautiful the word "different" really is.

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