Monday, April 28, 2008

Along for the Ride

I took these pictures the other day when we were out for a cruise around the neighborhood. Dexter stayed in the stroller the whole time, but Nate and I switched off: half the time he rode his trike and I pushed the stroller, the other half I carried his trike and he pushed the stroller. Thankfully not many cars drove by, because Nate is not very good at steering yet!

The look on Dexter's face in the close up picture makes me laugh and it makes me think. Laugh, because he looks almost teenager-ish, like he should be texting his friends that he is 'so over it' or something. (Truthfully the kid was just tired and in what I like to call a 'stroller trance.') But just seeing his facial expression makes me think about what a different life he has compared to Nate's at that age.

You would think that the same two parents would be able to raise each of their children in basically the same ways, but it doesn't happen. Not only do you change as a parent with each successive kid, you change your family dynamic when you bring another unique individual into the mix. When Nate was a 7 month-old only child, he didn't take snail-paced walks around the neighborhood just to get out of the house during the witchy hours of the afternoon. True, I was working a bit and I spent time with friends regularly, etc. but the main focus of my attention was Nate. And though I love my sweet, chubby second-born son to pieces, and I give him all the attention I can, much of his life necessarily revolves around big brother.

How will this shape who Dexter becomes? Or even who Nate becomes? I know as an eldest child I probably thought the world revolved around me more so than my younger sibs, who sat through countless swim meets and... well, more swim meets.

It will probably be decades before I can actually see how these differences play out in each child's personality and growth. Just one more thing to talk with Jon about when we're sitting on the porch with our prune juice I guess!


Travis Thompson said...

That is a classic look! Dexter really looks like Reece I think...

Lynn Collins said...

Yes, he does look like a teenager. Too funny! But I haven't seen a recent pic of him since the Xmas one. I'd love to see one on your next blog. I totally agree and have always said (although not an original quote), "Every child is born into a different family," including siblings!

Rosi deDomenico said...

So true, Hay...! I think you'd enjoy checking out another blogger's site - he's an old friend of mine from college and is a stay-at-home-dad. One of his entries ("The myth of equality")from February of this year is similar to your posting here. Check Joel's out at