I was the second born of four girls. I'm not a big fan of birth order theories. I think every family is dynamic and unique. Every person in a family does fall into a role of sorts because of their particular strengths or weaknesses. God doesn't make mistakes in how he designs families.
Our first two children were born (much to our surprise) thirteen months apart. In fact, I didn't even know I was pregnant again until my first Mother's Day. I was having my picture taken with six month old Hannah and was lying on my stomach at the time. The picture is quite humorous because my eyes are as big as saucers as I'm mentally considering the fact that I am either pregnant or have a cancerous growth. I kept that little secret to myself for about two weeks until it was confirmed. In July we had our first ultrasound. We were shocked to learn that our little one was not 12 weeks old, but 17 weeks!
Before the end of the year we welcomed our second daughter. My two blond babies. Inseparable. Distinctly different. Best friends.
It's been my joy and privilege to watch these two grow into young ladies. It is hard to imagine that at one time people thought they were twins. Now they are different in so many ways. Right handed and left handed. Detail oriented and visionary. A reader and an author. Reality and imagination. Modern and old fashioned. Yet they enjoy many of the same activities and because of their ages they are often placed side by side.
This is where being a mom gets really hard. While one is hitting her stride, the other is struggling. While one is getting acclamations, the other is looked over. While one is a natural, the other is working with all her might.
I'm praying for wisdom to encourage them both. I recognize that success is measured in a multitude of ways. God is glorified in both the victory and the struggle. But to my preteen girls it's not so clear. They don't have the perspective of experience to tell them that. They are just trying to find out where they fit and who they are becoming.
Their emotions are fragile. Their hearts are tender. They are sensitive to one another. And they are looking into my eyes for the next cue. While I'm rejoicing with one and crying with the other, I pray that they know, "I love you both."