It being school holidays and me being the candidate for Mother of the Year that I am, today I took the boys to the park. As I watched them in action – sliding, climbing, jumping, fighting, throwing bread at the poor overfed ducks sinking on the pond – one thought went through my mind: I'm raising Buzz and Woody.
If you haven’t seen a Toy Story movie (and I can’t begin to imagine how this could be so), Buzz Lightyear and Woody are the space ranger/cowboy characters at the centre of the franchise. And, it appears, at the centre of my home.
Mr6 is a lonesome, sentimental cowboy singing at the moon (he'll now proudly tell you he can play four notes, one chord AND two half-chords on the guitar). He's gangly, thoughtful, a little bit serious, a little bit funny, cautious and loyal to a fault.
Mr3, on the other hand, throw himself into everything ('to infinity and beyond'). He believes he can fly – and usually does (not actual flying, but in the metaphorical sense) because he's so unafraid to try. He's a stocky little soul with an engaging smile and was at the front of the line when they were handing out charm.
You can tell they're brothers, because they share a lot of traits too – mostly cheekiness, but we won't go there now. But they emerged into the world as total individuals and that's how they've remained.
I shouldn't be surprised that they're so different. Talk to sisters B and C, myself and brother TICH now that we're older, and it's hard to believe sometimes that we were raised in the same house. Mostly because we remember it so differently. Each of us has our own perspective on certain vivid memories of childhood and (as previously discussed) I'm lucky they were there because half the time I don't remember any of it!
Again, you can tell we're all related. There's a look, a wry sense of humour, a certain cynical take on the world, that binds us all together. But we also bring our own personalities and opinions (such a lot of opinions!) to the mix.
I sometimes wish I'd had more kids. Perhaps a Hamm or a Slinky – even a Bo Peep? – to add different voices to my brood. It might have made the differences between my two less obvious. But I console myself with the fact that Buzz and Woody are best mates. To infinity and beyond.