Yesterday I asked my husband what two words he would use to describe our older daughter. After some thought he said, “Helpful and stubborn.” Then I asked how he would describe our younger daughter and he said, “Silly and stubborn.” So, of course, I decided that the trait they both share — stubbornness — must come from him. While, the other two traits — helpful and silly — surely come from me. (Whether or not this is really true will probably be debated in our house for years to come.)
But this conversation got me thinking about our personalities. I’m pretty sure there are things about all of our personalities that we’d like to change, and things we’re happy with. I always wished I was less outgoing. I really wanted to have my brother’s quiet self-confidence. I was teased a good bit as a kid about talking too much. (Imagine that!) And it wasn’t until I began working as a teller in a bank, while in my thirties, that I realized that my love for people is … well, it’s just the way God made me. And he made me that way for a reason. I didn’t like, so much, the banking/money part of the job, but I loved making the customers feel welcome. I could look up and see a handful of people waiting in line and greet most of them by name. And they liked that. That was when I began to understand that God created in me a love for people. It isn’t something to be embarrassed about, and it isn’t something to be hidden away.
I’m still wondering what my girls’ personalities will be like when they’re grown. I can imagine Allyson as a happy, calm, friendly young woman who wants to do the best she can, as long as she gets to go out to eat once in a while. She seems to have no problem talking with folks, and making friends. And I can see Katey as an exuberant music-lover with lots of friends.
At present, Katey sings her way through most of her jobs. That’s not to say that she easily accepts that the job must be done without argument or debate – only that she can often be located by following the sound of her singing. She’s extremely loving, and she’s very silly; she loves to laugh. And she loves to make her sister laugh!
And these days Allyson loves to help me around the house (that is, when she’s in the mood). She enjoys pretending to be the teacher — reading to her dolls, whilst pausing to show the pictures to the whole class. She wears her heart on her sleeve, so it’s easy to figure out what kind of mood she’s in. And sometimes that’s a good thing.
One thing (among many) that I hope for my girls is that they’ll be happy with their personalities, knowing that God has made them just as he wants them to be. Because it took me a while to appreciate that.