Having three kids means I have to navigate smartly in raising them. Raising a girl will be different from raising a boy, they say. I say not. All children only need our unconditional love and the guarantee that we will be their safe haven.
Raising three kids means watching how they grow and navigate the world with their own ways. I can only introduce the guidelines and set the boundaries, it is them who walk the paths.
Raising two school-aged kids has opened my eyes about how beautifully created and uniquely made each individual is. My kids might share the same DNA with me and with each other, but they are nothing like me. Saying that they are “mini me” is an insult to their independent identity.
In learning, my eldest and middle boy have so many differences. While the eldest tends to check and re-check her works several times, being very suspicious of herself making a mistake, it’s not the case with my boy.
His motto, whether he realizes it or not, I conclude is, “Just do it and be done with it.”
He never says it out loud, but he practices it in every single task assigned to him since he entered school four years ago.
He doesn’t hesitate, he never postpones, he just does it and he is done with it.
During School From Home he’s burdened with so many homeworks, much more than he usually brings home on regular school days. It is important to cross each and every homework off the list by the end of certain period.
I always oppose when the teacher says that the students can do them when they have the time. They have to make the time; it’s their duty. So as one nosy parent should do, I always ask for deadlines for every homework my son has to do.
He never waits till he has the mood to do it, so different from his sister who is a perfectionist and almost always waits for that right moment to start anything. If it’s given now, he will do it now. He cherishes and enjoys freedom gained after finishing the homeworks.
For next week he’s having a computer test, a drawing completed with Microsoft Paint. It should be submitted by April 30th the latest, but he told me this evening that he wanted to do it now.
So I set up my laptop and let him experimenting with the task on hand. I say experimenting because I know the test required certain approaches, but he managed to find other ways that produced the same result.
When I looked at the final drawing, I told him, “I think you should fix this part. You drew too many lines here.”
To which he only replied, “Don’t worry, Mom, it will be fine.”
I was so amused that I couldn’t respond for a second. Then I asked him again, “So, are you going to email this to your teacher now, or not?”
He only shook his head and turned off my computer. “Nah, tomorrow, once the class is on again.”
When I still gasped with disbelief, he only laughed and repeated again, “Don’t worry, Mom, it will be fine. I did it, didn’t I?”
It would have been very different with his older sister. When it comes to submitting assignment, my eldest will be the first. In a way she also applies her brother’s motto: just do it and be done with it.
But before she gets to the point when she’s ready to submit, sweet heaven she checks, re-checks, and proofreads her work a thousand times like an editor would do. I proudly say that she takes that habit after me.
This day is almost over. While my boy has been asleep for an hour, his sister is still rummaging with her Bahasa Indonesia homework, still unsure whether she’s ready to send the email or not.
What a responsible daughter. Half of my heart bursts with pride, while the other half aches with sadness: why have you grown up so fast?
It will be fine, I hear myself say. “Whether they outgrow you and eventually leave you, you will be fine. You will always have the love for each other.”