Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nurture vs. Nature

Sometimes I look at my kids and wonder just where they came from. At the moment, the boys usually form that question in my mind because they are busy testing the limits of something or failing to think at all before they do something. Like whacking the landscaping with their golf clubs 'just because' and completely ignoring the poor plants plight after they are done plundering. Or perhaps when they are told dinner is in an hour and they proceed to inhale enough food to fill the entire teenage population of our neighborhood and then say "you didn't tell me dinner was almost ready?" even though they stood there watching me make it. You get the drift.

But for Laura, I spend time wondering where she gets her "Mommy tendencies". When Laura was little we spent an awful lot of time with her plastered to our shoulders. She couldn't lay flat due to several health issues, and we couldn't put her on our hips easily due to the treatment for her clubfeet, so over the shoulder she went. She still prefers that to this day, especially when she's tired or doesn't feel good. So where does she get the idea that she needs to cradle her babies in her arms? Where does she see the little tender tending of these wee ones? Why is it that she cuddles them in her arms with the understanding that comes from years of having been there herself? I don't know.

I do know, however, that she's very good at it. She can dig out her latest favorite baby, cradle it in her arms, speak to it softly and tenderly, and even with one hand, dig up something to use as a bottle and feed her baby while keeping up all of this wonderful mothering chatter. She'll even read books to them and feed them in the high chair, take them for walks around the house in their stroller and oh so many other things that we weren't able to do with Laura herself. As though she knows this is what you do. As though she's had a personal experience.

There certainly is something to the concept of nurture. When children are raised in a loving home with boundaries, it shows. When they are raised with certain rules and expectations, they tend to rise to meet them. Laura and the boys are perfect examples of that. But the Lord certainly did a lot with nature, too. The boys ability to turn everything in to a gun surely is a prime example. And Laura's loving care of her babies, cuddled in her arms and not thrown over her shoulder certainly says something about that as well. He definitely made boys and girls differently.

Then again, maybe not so much. I just looked over at Laura, who only moments ago was cradling her current favorite baby and tenderly feeding her. Now she's hanging upside down by her feet, swinging her around. Then again, maybe this is Laura's cure for her baby's reflux... :)

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