"Similar, but different."
We have always said that about our twin daughters all their life (all four years of it!). In so many ways, they are similar, yet they are still very different. That's what I love about them. They each have their own unique qualities that make them who they are. I want them to be their own person. We encourage them to be their own person.
This year we started swim lessons. P. was terrified of the water. M. wanted to jump right in. P. is more comfortable in the water now, and M. is more careful (she's worried about swallowing water). P. has taken a liking to swimming and is progressing in her lessons. This week her swim teacher wanted her to use a lighter yellow flotation device. M. enjoys lessons, but is still building her swimming muscle memory and strength. She was sad when she couldn't use the same new yellow flotation device as her sister.
I had to explain in four year old words why she was still using the blue flotation and why P. was using the yellow flotation. I had to wipe away tears. I had to encourage her to keep practicing and build those swimming muscles so that she could use the yellow flotation. I had to remind her that they each have their strengths and they aren't the same at everything. I had to remind her that the other little girls in the class were still using the blue flotation.
I had to tell her that she couldn't use the same flotation as her sister, yet.
That little word yet is so important in our house. I want my daughters to have a growth mindset and the belief that they can do anything they put their mind to -- and not be fixed into thinking they can't do something. With time and practice and belief, they can do anything!
So ... Two days of tears. Two days of lots and lots of encouragement. Two days of convincing her to use the blue flotation. Two days of pep talks to get her into the pool.
We'll get through this and she will eventually be ready for the yellow flotation.
However, my next fear? That P. will advance to the next level of swim lessons, but M. will not! (Yet.)
"Similar, but different." And that's okay. We all need the constant reminders.