As my girls grow older and older, their distinctive personalities (and distinctive differences) become more and more evident. When I was pregnant with Charlotte Cate, I remember thinking my girls would be different, but not this different. I mean they are from the same gene pool.
Eloise is seven going on seventeen. She’s sweet, incredibly focused, tough, reserved, independent, particular, intuitive, smart, confident, and yet somewhat sassy. She’s mature beyond her years. She’s trying to find her way in the world. She wants to make decisions for herself. She believes she’s an adult and therefore wants to discipline her sister. She’s learning how to handle things when things don’t go as planned … all with grace and poise.
Charlotte Cate is our fun-loving, free-spirited, rough-play-loving four-year-old. She loves playing superheroes and wrestling and beauty-shop and Barbies. Snuggling is her favorite. She wants to be bigger than she is. She’s super determined and doesn’t give up easily. She believes she can ask for anything until she gets what she wants (and this sometimes works). Yet, she’s sensitive and hates being “in trouble” when she’s disciplined for something.
My girls are delightful in so many different ways. We cherish their differences. But their differences, sometimes, make playing together a bit of a challenge (especially on long, hot, summer days). My husband, the youngest of four children, reminds me that siblings disagree. That this is normal. My co-worker often laughs telling me about growing up with an older sister. But the only-child in me still worries a little that their differences will make it difficult for them to be friends in the future.
I have to remember that my girls need different things from me as their mama. My parenting must adjust to their individual personalities. As simple as this sounds, it’s incredibly difficult in the moment. Patience is something I must practice. While the days are long, the years are short. My hope is that our two girls know the love we have for them and the love they have for each other despite their differences.
Photography by Stefanie Cascio Photography.