Sunday, March 9, 2008

Which came first, the chicken or the Lucy?

Mitch and I have planned all along to have two kids. We decided about two weeks after we met, while we were riding our bikes to school, pedaling through the Vons parking lot, that we would have two kids and if they were a boy and a girl, we would name them Miles and Lucy. We also thought we would like to have one child biologically and maybe adopt the second one.

Well since those early planning days in 1995, we have actually had two daughters. We had our first girl, Lucile Linnea Brigham Allen (Lucy Goosey), in 2005, and our second girl, Josephine Jo Jacobson Allen (Josie Bean) in 2007. We ended up having both of our kids biologically out of laziness, economics, and an inability to deal with the complex logistics of adoption versus the simple logistics of just getting it on.

We settled on two kids from the start because both of us have siblings that we are pretty darn fond of (Stuart for Mitch, Jeremy for me) and both of us have found having a sibling in the family arena to be a plus. Many of my closest friends are only children (Tiffany, Sarah, Allie practically-speaking) and I think only children ROCK. So I'm not knocking only children. Just for us, we decided on the zero population growth option of two.

When we started down the road of number two, and my belly got fatter and fatter, we started wondering out loud what our second child would be like, especially in light of our first child. Everyone who knows her will acknowledge that Lucy is a total force of nature. She talks a ton, loves people, is bossy as all get out, and pretty much tries to run the show around here. So both Mitch and I wondered whether Josie would have to be some sort of shy retiring flower, just by nature of the bold niche space being all taken up by Lucy. I was pretty not keen on this idea because I feel like I somewhat got stuck into the pigeon hole of being the "good" one in my family due to my brother's sometimes questionable behavior as a youth and my mom's off again on again sickness. So I really want Josie to be able to be whoever she is regardless of Lucy.

Of course, that's not how life really works, is it? Your personality is probably 65% you and 35% your experience or something like that, where your parents and your siblings and everything else are parts of your experience.

So far, Josie is only 6 months old but like her sister, her personality traits are showing up early. She seems to be more calm and contemplative than Lucy and less liable to glom on to any old random human being who wanders by. So she does seem to be pretty different from Lucy and more towards the calm and less towards the melodramatic in comparison to L.B. (another Lucy nickname). Which leaves me wondering, could it be happening already - Lucy's shaping of her sister's personality or is Josie just by nature a more calm person? In other words, which came first, the chicken or the Lucy?

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