I have heard my own Mom use the phrase many times over the years when talking about the differences between my sister and I. Melissa was a quiet, reserved, mellow, typical little girl who never talked back or got in trouble (unless she was with me, and I got in trouble, in which case we would BOTH be punished, unfortunately for her) where as I on the other hand was her opposite- a loud, sometimes saucy, hyper, strong willed and stubborn tomboy!
"They are like chocolate and cheese!" She often said. I didn't really understand what she meant until my own boys became adolescences. It was then they really started to develop their own personalities, a distinct set of likes, dislikes, and beliefs, and the words of my own mother came back to me. How can two boys born to the same mother be so completely different?
Kaleb, who will be 12 in just a few days, is in many ways your typical boy- rambunctious, athletic, full of energy, happy, and loud. He loves sports of all kinds, playing not watching, because he simply can't sit still long enough to watch a full game! He plays on the volleyball and table tennis teams, runs in a track club, and takes part in every extra curricular sport available. He has to date broken 3 bones, and asked to still play ball with his casts on. He goes through more running shoes than I am convinced any other kid his age does (10-15 pairs a year, I kid you not) and has more grass and mud stains on his clothes that even Mr. Clean himself could keep up with! He is in all ways a boy. Except when it comes to school. Where as many boys are nonchalant about their grades Kaleb strives for excellence. If there are a bonus marks offered, a solid 100% will not do. He loves to learn, and I am convinced that he will speak fluent french by high school. He likes the same things nearly all boys his age likes- sports, video games, electronics- and his style blends in well with his team mates and friends. He is my all star!
Keenan is, as I said, his polar opposite. A firm believer in standing out in the crowd and not blending in with it, his style is very much his own and consists of a wide variety of band shirts, black ripped up jeans, leather jackets and too big flannel shirts. In a room full of teenagers you can pick him out in an instant. He strongly dislikes sports and sport teams- they are far too main stream - but has taught himself various forms of martial arts. He is very firm in his beliefs concerning organised religion, gay rights, discrimination, and many, many other controversial topics and is ready to voice his strong opinions at any time, with any audience. He is creative and artsy- can draw, paint and write. School work is the least of his concerns and as long as he can pull off a pass he is happy. He detests French to the point where I had to make a fuss to have him taken out of the class and into something different during his first year of high school. He loves music and plays the guitar, a little drums, and the bass in the school band (all self taught!)- the one extra curricular activity that he will take part in. His musical tastes range from the 70's and 80's classic rock to new age heavy metal. He is a natural musician and is in his element on stage. He is my rock star!
There are many, many differences in my two boys, but several similarities as well. both boys are caring and empathetic, and neither would hesitate to pick up for someone who needs it, and are strongly against bullying. Both are "mama's boys" who talk to me about everything and anything knowing that there is no judgement. Both are comedians who make me laugh everyday. Despite their many differences they are both wonderful boys who make me proud.
Which brings me to the conclusion that although chocolate and cheese are quite different, they are also alike in one way- both are yummy!
Until next time....