(Originally posted Friday, January 4, 2013)
My kids exist for several reasons, not the least of which is because I wanted children and my husband (hereinafter referred to as the Jarhead) couldn’t make a convincing argument as to why we shouldn’t have them. And although the impact their existence will have on the U.S., North America, and the universe are as yet to be seen, they have already made significant contributions to the world and my understanding of it.
For example, together they have helped to disprove the validity of astrology. Being both born Virgos and yet having NOTHING—and I mean NOTHING—in common in terms of personality, taste, interests, or temperament, they are living proof that the positions of the stars and planets at the time of one’s birth has not thing one to do with who you are or what you can or cannot accomplish. Although they are both sharp and funny (I am their mother, so you can take my word for this, of course) and a touch moody, these similarities probably have more to do with genetics and the home they grew up in than with which of the twelve houses Saturn was in when they came down the chute, as it were.
On the other hand, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that the circumstances surrounding one’s conception may play a role where the heavenly bodies do not.
Case in point: Our eldest (hereinafter referred to as El Noble) who was conceived after nearly a year of careful planning, temperature tracking, and hand wringing, is deliberate, disciplined, and methodical to the point of obsessive. He keeps lists, tracks every dollar he makes and spends, schedules when he will clean his shoes, and has a white board in his room laying out his goals for the day, week, month, and beyond. To say this kid is organized is like calling Stephen Hawking a smart guy or Stephen Colbert a funny fellow. When he says he’s going to do something, you know he’s going to do it, as well as when, where, why, and how. And whereas one might assume from this that he is also uptight, unfriendly or inflexible, in truth the guy is easy going, warm and gregarious.
Meanwhile our youngest (hereinafter referred to as Princess Primrose) who was conceived about five years later when I was obviously paying more attention to my college coursework than I was contraception or hormone cycles, is dynamic, dramatic, and disorganized. She has nine thousand pens and drawing pencils in her room in case she loses or gets bored with the one in her hand or the thirty in her kit; keeps piles of sketch pads, legal pads, and note pads for ostensibly more than sentimental or ornamental reasons; and goes on writing, drawing and gaming benders that can last for days. Her room is a disaster; the car she drives is a fire hazard; and if one were to gather and hang up all of her clothing, you would swear on a stack of Vogue magazines that it was stolen from the closets of four different people from four different planets. She has held a job for over a year with the same company and is doing well there, but that’s about all the structure the girl can handle at once.
Okay so maybe the circumstances of their conception had little to do with how these creatures turned out. Maybe if I could’ve talked the Jarhead into having a couple more we’d have wound up with a disorganized kid who was painstakingly planned or a structured kid who came as a total surprise. Or maybe we would have gotten more of the same.
Either way, I would not have been disappointed—or any less amused.