|With three of my four awesome men|
I've been mindlessly watching a lot of TVs and movies on DVD while I am recovering. The pain seems more manageable than the similar ear surgery last August, probably because of better pain medication. (Please forgive any typos in this post because of oxycodone-induced foggy brain.) Mike's #1 priority this weekend has been to keep the noise level down...and he's done that by keeping the family out of the house most of the time! For the second day in a row, they have left me alone much of the time to rest and recover. Beyond the fact that they have taken good care of me after my surgeries, my men are awesome and unique because of these characteristics:
- Renaissance men, defined as "with many talents or interests, especially in the humanities." Like their parents, all of our kids are drawn to the liberal arts (theater, music, books) more than the stereotypical "boy" interests of sports and cars.
- Desire to be in the spotlight, which they get from their dad. Each one of them is drawn to be the center of attention and doesn't shy away from an audience. Our uncharacteristically middle child Kieran shares this desire the most with his dad, but the other two crave it as well.
- Musical ability, which they get from both of us...they all love music and have nice singing voices, thank goodness!! And the traits they get solely from me are their memory for lyrics and Chris' ability to recognize a musician or song in the first few bars. Six-year-old Nicholas can stay on melody while I harmonize. We're not sure where Chris got his sense of rhythm, which he applies to the drums.
- Loving and sensitive...the boys tell me they love me every day. They are affectionate and just as likely to cry at a tearjerker as I am. This sensitivity is a huge shift in traditional male culture...I find it very encouraging to consider how many men I know who are just as likely to cry and hug as their female partners!
- Love of story, which is to be expected given the fact that Mike and I were both English majors, our first conversation was about Jane Austen, and now we are both writers. They can't help but be drawn into story like the rest of us. Both Mike and I like to read compelling nonfiction (mine are often memoirs, while Mike's are likely to be writing craft books), but fiction is our family favorite.
- Competitive spirit, which is much fiercer in Mike and the two younger boys than in me, but I must confess to a tiny bit of competitiveness too...I'm gleefully watching the holds at the library climb as people learn the news that J.K. Rowling has written a crime novel under a pseudonym. Yesterday when I placed my hold I was #26; earlier today the hold list had climbed to 66, and now it's 261!! Yippee!!
- Resilience, demonstrated by Chris in the NICU and later in grade school and middle school when he was subject to bullying...and by Kieran when he learns he doesn't get a part he wanted, takes himself off to his room to pull himself together, and then carries on. None of us are mopers. We dust ourselves off and get back on track.
- Diplomacy, as in when you receive two identical birthday gifts but respond politely and kindly. Mike and I both felt this was something very important to train in our children, as we saw some children react in a rude, unacceptable manner at one birthday party, and their parents did nothing to halt it. This diplomacy is also demonstrated ably by the son of a diplomat, my wonderful husband, who is FAR more patient and diplomatic with some people than I am.
- Affinity for language...Mike has one of the best vocabularies of anyone I know--all that Latin probably helped! My vocab is not bad for an American, but not anywhere near as good as his. I love to hear my sons use big words. And then there's the accent thing. I told Nicholas the other day that he's the second best in the family at accents...at six years old! He can speak in several different types of British accents fluently, which delights me to no end!
- Upbeat personalities, which the kids get from both of us. All of us are optimistic and try to find the silver lining in a dark cloud. On the rare occasions that I get into a funk, I do everything I can to recover. Life is too short and unpredictable to be unhappy. Our kids have absorbed this way of thinking about the world and all the awesome things in it.