I’ve been spending the last few weeks of summer doing things I love: spending time with family, reading books, lazing, goofing around on the internet, sewing, etc. It has been lovely, and I’m ready for school to start!
This might be a weird post, but I took my daughter to the doctor the other day for her annual checkup, and I’ve been thinking about a little thing that happened while we were there.
We were waiting in this little area outside the lab area of the office (my daughter had to get one shot), and in comes a doctor or nurse with a handful of files. The lab tech takes them, flips through them, and sighs, “Triplets.” So, naturally, knowing that any minute a crew of triplets is going to come into the waiting area, I start wondering–will they be identical? how old will they be? etc.
A minute later, in come 4 little kids with their mom. A boy with a broken arm and missing front teeth who says, “Do I have to get a shot, Mom?” “Not today.” “Why not?” “It’s not your turn.” He gets the hugest grin. The other three are the triplets, all 5 and getting ready to get their shots for kindergarten. They do not look anything alike–not even like siblings, really, let alone triplets. One, a little boy with huge eyes, sees a familiar book about animals and yells, “I LOVE THIS BOOK!” and grabs it off the shelf above the seats. He is immediately immersed in it. Little girl with long blond curly hair just calmly and quietly sits, looking like she is entertaining herself with whatever is in her imagination. The third is a little girl with short curly brown hair, nervous, sitting in Mom’s lap while Mom reads to her. Mom says to the lab tech, “It would be best if Dylan goes first.”
They call Dylan back–he is the boy triplet– and he asks for Mom to come with him. I couldn’t see the shots happening, but there was a bit of whimpering, which made all the other three run to peek around the corner and see. They run and peek, then come back and sit. Run and peek, come back and sit. The blond just plops back down happily. The nervous one starts looking more nervous. There was a teenage girl also in the waiting area, who could see the kids getting the shots from where she was, and she says, “I think he’s almost done. He’s okay.” The nervous one says, “How many shots did he get?” “Three, I think. But he’s okay.” Out Dylan comes, wipes his tears, grabs his book again, and starts reading like nothing has happened. “I love this book,” he says again.
They call the blond one back (I didn’t catch either of the other two names), and she just trots on back without a care. As she is getting the shots, the teenager watching says, “She is brave! She didn’t cry at all!” And the other three, all at the same time, say, “She’s always brave.” You probably had to be there, but it was really amazing how they all said it together with the exact same tone of awe.
Then it was of course time for the poor little nervous one. At this point, the other lab tech cleared me and my daughter to leave (we were just waiting to make sure she didn’t have an allergic reaction), so we didn’t get to see what happened next, but we we heard it! She was not a happy little girl!
So why is this story sticking with me, and how is it relevant? I think it was a good reminder to me about how kids come to us (at school, at home) with their own personalities and needs. I was really impressed by the mom of those kids–she was far calmer than I would be with 4 kids under the age of 7 (!!), but she also was just so in tune with the whole thing. She knew which kid should go first; she knew to give the nervous one that bit of nurturing beforehand and to have her go last; she seemed to let them all (based on how they acted, how they were dressed, etc.) be their own individual selves. It’s not really something I can capture in a blog post, but it was moving. Maybe because in my mind, when I heard “triplets,” I had this vision of three identical kids coming, and the reality was so different.
Looking forward to seeing what personalities I get to meet this new school year!