It is always interesting to me to hear others' perceptions of my children. Of course, others do not know them as closely as we do at home, but sometimes an "outside" perception is a good check on the process of growth and change that is sometimes easier to see when you don't see someone every day.
Last night at a potluck, a gentleman who often sits behind us at daily Mass (bless his heart) commented that he thought Felicity was "a very active girl". He also mentioned, with a knowing smile (I think he has 10 or 11 kids of his own) that she did not seem to have a lot of "natural piety". I can see why he says these things. Somehow, though, I tend to see Felicity's tendency to run around at Mass (and crash into the curtain by the Eucharistic chapel) as a little blip of a stage because she is two. I have always thought of her as a quiet child. And natural piety? The one who has spent months carrying statues of Mary around and loves looking at holy cards? Is it piety, or a love of people's faces, or some of each? She will sometimes kneel quietly, but those times are getting shorter and less frequent, come to think of it.
Kwamai, on the other hand, is perceived as the thoughtful, intelligent, helpful young man. Oh, he is, to be sure, I don't deny that. I guess I should be glad that he doesn't run around yelling or singing about excrement at the top of his lungs in public like he does at home! I have noticed, though, that while my concern about him being noisy at gatherings is more in the forefront of my mind, usually he is conscious of the need to stay quiet, while Felicity will be singing away, completely clueless of her surroundings. Felicity has also taken to screaming out her desires if they are not immediately forthcoming.
It's all ok. But it is interesting to me to catch myself pigeon-holing them. If I am trying to instill in them that all of life is a learning process, then I guess I had better be open to shifting my perceptions of them, and continue to learn about them, too!