Raising Kids has Challenged Everything I THOUGHT I knew

So I’ve been a mom for 15 LONG years. Well to be honest I kind of don’t really remember the first 10 years-. It’s not that I don’t remember but it feels like all those years just morphed into one big memory and when I look at my 15 year old daughter- I kind of have to do a double take and remind myself that yes- once many moons ago she was the preschooler who “ Took a picture of me with her in her lunch box, so that when she missed me and wanted to come home from school to be with me- she could look at that picture and feel comforted by my smile”. I recently asked her if she wanted to take a picture of me with her to her 10th grade AP history class and she looked at me like I HAD TWO HEADS JUTTING OUT OF MY NECK- but I digress.

And when a not so lovely cold sore appeared at the edge of my lip this past Jewish New year ( which I am TOTALLY chalking up to all the stress of feeling like I only have 10 days to get written in the book of life for 2017) MY daughter looked HORRIFIED at the prospect that I would leave the house without a SKI mask whereas my son said, " I don't notice anything and you are so beautiful mommy"

Of course when it comes to my 11 year old son- the SUN AND MOON have nothing on me. That boy is still very much smitten with me and thinks I am the beginning and end to all things that sparkle and shine and make life worth living. Case in point, I have this persistent cough that I just can't seem to shake and for some reason when I drive it gets exacerbated. So here I am in the car with both of my kids- coughing like it's my job.

My son: " Mommy what can I do for you- do you need any water? When are you going to see a doctor about this cough? "

My daughter: "Mommy can you cough a little quieter please, I can't hear what Zoella ( the youtuber dujor) is saying"

And their opposite reactions to my almost coughing up a lung got me thinking how very different they are- and how funny it is that I thought their roles would be completely reversed. My son is the nurturer whereas my daughter NEEDS HER SPACE. My son is that kid who will come up behind you and wrap you in a bear hug whereas my daughter might SPRAY you with Mace if you surprise approach her from behind. This is not to say that my daughter is not sensitive- it's just that she doesn't wear her emotions as unabashedly as my son.

Maybe it's the different ages and stages of their lives- and maybe at 11 years old my daughter would have inquired about my health as opposed to being annoyed by it- INSERT EVIL CACKLE. I guess raising a son and a daughter has truly challenged my stereotypical thoughts about gender and our belief systems.

Are you surprised by your parenting experience?

This post originally appeared on The Staten Island Family

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