Jun. 19th, 2012

msagara: (Default)
I am still thinking through No in all its variations, and something has been spinning wheels in my brain all day. I want to talk a little bit about perception, and about personality.

Specifically, about the way we perceive things when we're children. We make assumptions. We believe things that are often not true. No two children will respond to the same statement the same way. My two could not be more different if one of them were a girl; they are so completely unlike each other in personality. They share interests, now. But they could not be parented the same way.

I am the oldest of four children; the second, my sister, is thirteen months younger than I am. When we were younger, we asked the usual questions of our mother: how she met our father, how long they were engaged, where they lived. During this barrage of questions, my mother said, "I didn't intend to get pregnant right away; I was working, and I wanted to wait a couple of years and get my feet under me."

I had no problems with this at all. It was a statement of fact. She wanted to wait; she got pregnant almost immediately after she and my father were married. I was born ten months later.

But my sister's response was entirely different, and it wasn't something I even considered until she mentioned it decades (literally) later. She asked me if I remembered our mother saying this, and I said yes. She then said: "That was the moment when I knew we had ruined our mother's life."

The differences between parenting siblings )

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Michelle Sagara

April 2015

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