Recently, as many of you know, Jake had asked to make his very own blog. Instead, I allowed him to guest write on my blog, which we both really enjoyed. Jake had been looking at my blog from time to time, and was as interested (and flattered) that I think enough of him to write these stories. He’s also as fascinated as I am that people actually take the time to read these words I put together and, (if I’m lucky), leave comments either on the blog or on Facebook.
He asked me why I write, which is a hard question for me to answer, truthfully. Initially, I started writing poems when I was young because I had things to say and didn’t know how else to say them. Then, it got to the point that words would construct themselves into stories in my head without any effort, and they’d echo in my head endlessly if I didn’t write them down. (Seriously, this is still an issue for me.) Even if I had no one to tell these stories to, just getting them down on paper seemed to relieve the need to hear the thoughts in my head, just as if I had spoken them aloud. Once I started writing, I found that I’m a lot better at writing things I know about, such as books on ultrasound experiences, or, in this case, parenting. And, once I started writing this blog, about my children it occurred to me that I have a strange fear of leaving my children before I have the chance to tell them how important and profound each little moment of their lives has been for me. This blog updates my family and friends on how our life is going, but mostly, it is a legacy of my love for my children that will hopefully comfort them someday when I cannot do so myself. (Morbid in many ways, I realize, but a reality nonetheless.)
Jake kept looking at my blog and reading ones here and there, and then he asked me a very simple question to answer. “Why do you call it the Sun and the Moon Brothers?” I explained to him, as I have explained over and over again in this blog that though he and his brother look pretty similar, they are as different as the sun and the moon. I also explained to him that they are my first thoughts in the morning (when the sun rises) and my last thought before sleeping (when the moon takes it’s place in the night sky). He thought that was really clever. He also appreciated talking about the differences in how he and Ben handle certain situations.
Jake’s next question was one I had feared all along. “Which one am I? The sun or the moon?” He’s not the first person to ask me this. I’m sure he wont be the last. He got excited when he looked at my page, and saw that the sun on my blog banner was nearest him, because clearly, in his mind, the sun was the “good boy” of the two options. I tried my best to explain that I didn’t see it the same way that he did. As I say to my mother frequently, I don’t love my boys “the same”. I love them different, because they are different. And yet, I love them as much as I am capable, and I love them equally.
Let’s assume for a moment that Jake is my sunshine. We sing adoring songs about sunshine. At first glance, the sun is bright, warm and inviting. Jake can certainly be cuddly, warm and very sensitive. I am often blown away by his ability to empathize at such a young age. But, that is not to say that Jake does no wrong, because we all have our shortcomings. Just as the sun can be scorching and fiery, so too can Jake be volatile and explosive when he is upset. (Though really, the times we see tantrums of that magnitude are getting much further apart, which is so nice.) I often tell Jake when he is behaving in such a manner that while at the moment I do not “like” how he is being, I will “love” him always. I love him always because of his wonderful characteristics, and in spite of his flaws. Love is, after all, unconditional, and to love anyone, you just have to accept the good with the bad.
Now, let’s consider for a moment that Benjamin is the moon. The moon can easily be regarded as the antithesis of the sun. Just as the sun is warm and inviting, the moon and the surrounding night sky can seem cold and barren. Now, I rarely think first of Benjamin being aloof, but the truth is, Benjamin is often more concerned with his own well being than he is with the wellbeing of others. He’s justly egotistical at his age, as well he should be. That is a natural part of childhood development. Having said that, it’s important to me that everyone understands that though Benjamin is more occupied by his own welfare, he is more than willing to share his happiness with you if given the opportunity. I happen to feel a different, more alluring side of the moon. As Laurie Berkner put it:
“Moon, moon, moon. Shining Bright. Moon, moon, moon, my night light. Moon, moon, moon, I can see, Moon moon moon, you’re taking care of me.”
There is a calm and peaceful tranquility that the moon exerts to anyone around it, and I think it is fair to mention that Benjamin possesses a similar calming and peaceful demeanor which I can’t resist. And really, though we could not live without the warmth of the sun, the moon is a most hospitable environment for human companionship. (As opposed to the scorching sun that burns your retinas from Earth.)
I love both of my boys unconditionally. I love them both for the amazing features as well as their obstinateness. And, more so, I love that their conflicting qualities often emphasize and highlight the best parts of each other. After all, how would I get through my day without my sun and my moon?