KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Sunday, May 29, 2005

My Favorite Boys

Neil (left) and Jared (right)These are my sons Neil (left, age 10.5) and Jared (age 3.5). They are huggable, aggravating, smart, silly, and adorable. Neil is our future scientist or engineer or architect or computer game designer, mostly very serious and extremely oriented toward how things work and are put together. He is very much like me, highly analytical and introverted, yet physically, he looks just like my husband Ed as a child. Jared is very much like Ed, gregarious and sweet and able to make anyone into a friend instantly, yet physically, he looks just like me as a child, only with Ed's childhood strawberry blond hair. It's astonishing to be able to ferret out which traits they inherited and from whom.

They exhaust me, they make me cry, they make me laugh, they snuggle up to me at night like warm little bunnies—Neil, the long, bony bunny, and Jared, the plump, soft bunny.

Neil is my difficult child, the one who challenges my parenting skills the most. With his AD/HD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), he requires me to constantly find new pockets of patience and understanding, to help him interpret the mysteries of social interaction with us and with others. Just when I've run out of patience, he'll stun me with a profound insight into someone's heart. Just when I'm beyond exasperation with his bounce-off-the-walls wild-monkey behavior, he'll settle down at the computer and design a roller coaster of such intricacy that I can't begin to comprehend it . . . and he'll explain the physics of it all.

Jared is my child with the vivid imagination: He's a bird hatching from a nest made out of bed blankets; he's a kitten prowling the kitchen; he's a fierce Jedi warrior ready to protect his mommy from "the bad guys." He's soft and he's giggly and he has a heart that's wise well beyond his years. He delights in half-accomplishing the physical feats that his brother can do with ease. He's Daddy's boy these days, following Ed everywhere, inside and outside the house.

Neil and Jared are the night and day of my soul, its yin and yang, its industry and its playfulness. They teach me every day to be a better person.

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