Thursday, November 1, 2012

The tortoise and the hare

Today Elijah, Abbey and I attended a field trip with our homeschool group to the Museum of Natural Sciences. This place is huge, both indoors and out and has a huge variety of exhibits. It ended up that my two and I went exploring by ourselves.

As we made our way through, there were tons of hands-on activities. As I watched my kids do things such as dig for

and find fossils,

and watch baby alligators eat live fish,

I noticed for the umpteenth time the diverse nature of their personalities. It played out so strikingly in just about everything they did today, that I watched in awe.

Meet the tortoise...

And the hare...

These two gems of mine are just about as polar opposite as a Democrat's and Republican's views on just about anything. (An interesting comparison, I know, I guess it's on my mind because there's an election next week and I've been inundated).

Abbey and Elijah differ on just about any level. Amazingly, though, they love each other intensely, and would be totally lost if they weren't together.

They are so complete opposites, like black and white, fast and slow, cats and dogs, ok..., I think you get the picture.

Well, today I saw repeatedly how they see and experience the world through two totally different lens.

Every exhibit we'd go to Elijah would just start to get into it, and Abbey would be blowing that joint and on to the next one. She would lead the way running to the next great adventure, just about the time Elijah was deciding he might take a chance on the current offering.

When admiring the butterflies, Abbey gets up close and personal,

While Elijah prefers a little distance.

Abbey is game for anything, she will rush in and think later. One exhibit demonstrated the force of wind. They had a contraption that blew a blast of air as someone hit it. I told Abbey to get in front while I hit it, she immediately jumped right in front.

Elijah, on the other hand, refused to get in front of it.

At the animal exhibit, the goose almost had an uninvited visitor, but Elijah kept a respectable distance.

Look at the way these two choose to view the moon rock...

Abbey is all about touch first, ask questions later. Elijah checks it out and then may or may not touch.

It was so cold out today that we decided to picnic on the floor of our car. They had chips with cheese and salsa dip as part of their lunch. Here's Elijah's reaction to spicy salsa.

While, as you might have guessed, Abbey loved the salsa.

When we got home and carved pumpkins for tonight, noticed how they each approached cleaning the pumpkin out.

This little study of mine in contrasts today made me realize how wonderful it really is that they are so different. I imagine the world would be pretty boring with all tortoises or all hares. They both can learn from each other. Abbey will learn to be a little more patient as she waits for her brother,(at least, that's my hope), and he will learn that he doesn't have to be quite so cautious about everything, (again, that's my desire). They both have amazing gifts in the way they view the world. Abbey goes for the gusto and sees the big side of things, while Elijah studies and notices the small details, such as the types of wheels certain cars have. (No kidding, he actually does). Abbey will undoubtedly experience a lot of thrills in life, while Elijah will have less pain because of rash decisions. Both of their personalities have some beneficial results. The world needs both kinds; "go getters" and "take it slow and easy".

I think it's so wonderful that God gifted these two to us. They fit together so fantastically. It's fun to watch and predict how they will handle situations. I'm learning how to appreciate both sides of life, the go ahead with reckless abandon and the take it slowly and analyze it all,  and how they both have advantages and disadvantages. Together they make a whole world, and together, my jack rabbit and my turtle, along with their older siblings,  make our family whole.

I'm very grateful to my tortoise and hare for the lessons they teach me every day!

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