Everything Is Up For Grabs

Where did that come from?

Why did he do that?

I would have never thought to do it that way…

The phrases parents regularly use to understand their children often have a basis in biology. It is assumed that your children, not only look like you but should act or behave like you do (or did as a child).

One of the exciting perspectives I’ve had with adopting all three of my children is a sense of wonder.

I don’t have an expectation that my kids will (or won’t) act any certain way based on my family’s genetics. Everything is up for grabs–an adventure.

When we adopted Luka and Kadon, they had spent their first years in an orphanage. They were kept safe and healthy. But love and attention weren’t priorities. Parenting them was a joy. They always went to bed without complaint and thrived on predictable routines. Both boys tried every new food I gave them. They played together and never fought. 

At the grocery store, they never begged for candy or toys. Once, when we were at the checkout, Luka asked for a sweet treat. I replied, “No, we are going home and having salad for dinner.”

“Yeah…SALAD!!!!” he enthusiastically responded.

The checkout lady looked surprised at me and commented, “You must make one great salad.”

Now, of course, life got much more complicated as the years went on…

Then there is Aubrey. We got her at three days old. Craig and I traveled to Houston, TX to get her. 

From day one, she has been a snuggle muffin. She would only settle down if she was held. We never figured out how to get her to sleep by herself. (I watched so many episodes of “Super Nanny” and felt I could have used her services for this.) No “Love and Logic” advice helped. Aubrey didn’t sleep in her own bed–solo–until she was 7. She has always been a velcro child. She was happiest when being worn, carried, or cuddled.

But did I change my parenting based on male/female differences?

No. Definitely not. Nope.

I parented, and continue to parent, based on the individual–not gender roles. The kids picked the chores they could commit to accomplishing every week. Everyone was in charge of their own bedrooms and making their own beds. Everyone has washed, dried, folded (kinda), and put away their own clothes. (Aubrey says that she has ALWAYS done her own laundry.) I think they started around First Grade or so.

When we clean up the kitchen after dinner, I usually wash the dishes. Aubrey dries and Kadon or Luka put away.  Aubrey chose to empty the dishwasher as one of her regular chores.  During the week, I usually vacuumed, Kadon dusted, and Luka shook rugs.

Everyone is encouraged to look up new recipes online to cook. Googling “easy chicken casserole” or “fast dinners with hamburger”. The results have sometimes been…interesting. Aubrey figured out how to make tamales on her own. Luka’s salmon burgers were…a bit moist…and cold. Kadon takes the meal very seriously, including a garnish.

Kadon has always been the lawn mower. Although Luka is older, Kadon had longer legs that reached the pedals. Craig has taught all three kids how to drive tractors, ATVs, and our family car. (Yes, Aubrey is 13 and has been behind the wheel down Mathias Lane, around Rose Circle, and down our driveway.)

We assumed that Kadon would be a football player because of his height. Nope. He is a dancer and an actor. He loves Broadway and musicals.

We assumed that Luka would do anything for sports. But he chose instead to focus on his love life and start his own family early.

We assumed that “girly girl” Aubrey would be a dancer forever. But she decided to move away from dance and explore volleyball. Although she has always loved shoes (all kinds), she has never liked dolls. And I find absolutely incomprehensible the fact that not only does she enjoy the horror film genre, but she loves horror movies with DOLLS!

Where did that come from?

Why did he do that?

I would have never thought to do it that way…

All our kids are individuals. It’s my job as a parent to help each one be the best person he/she can be. Their journey is something I can only help guide. My influence isn’t based on gender, it’s not driven by masculine or feminine expectations…it’s just rooted in love. 

Who is Lisa

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