Most parents would agree that there are moments when they see reflections of themselves in their children. This might be a physical similarity or a personality quirk that shines through, but our hope is that whatever our children obtain from us is positive and helps them in life. If you don’t know them already, let me introduce you to my children…
Parker is our oldest and just turned nine years old. Being the oldest means that he shares many qualities of mine. Having that spot in the line up requires a certain demeanor, one filled with patience, understanding, compassion and a sensitive soul. Parker wants to please and he wants to be what every one needs, which is so much like me. He has acquired many elements from his father as well. He is Mr. Athlete. He is competitive and has natural athletic talent. He’s also a string bean and will most likely be 6 foot something, just like his dad. We have always been told that he resembles me, his freckles and smile, but these picture show that he might reflect his dad a little more than we realized. That drive and competitiveness reminds me so much of his father, Mo. Parker might be the perfect blend of the two of us. We named Parker after his God-Father, Kyle Parker Walton. Kyle is my husband’s best friend and the guy in college who was there from the very start of our relationship and even helped nudge it along. He has always been such an important person in our lives we knew our first boy must be called Parker. Kyle Parker Walton is filled with ambition and energy, our Parker emulates that and lives up to his namesake. Parker carries the middle name Raymond. Raymond is my father’s middle name (mine being Rae) and a Thresher man tradition. It fits Parker because like his grandfather and the many Thresher men before him, Parker is a rule follower, motivated, and a go-getter. Those Thresher men don’t know how to relax and that’s why they have always been successful, Parker is constantly moving and we know that attribute will take him far in life. He has some of my dad’s facial expressions, especially when he disapproves of something or is confused, it’s my father’s face looking back at me. Not only is Parker a reflection of his father and I, but also his namesakes, I love seeing that in him.
Where did Weston’s name come from? Well, I was actually hunting for ideas on Nameberry.com and his name populated in a search and I wrote it down because it struck me as being unique. It just so happens that from the age of five until I was ten I lived in Weston, a sleepy and yet prestigious wooded suburb in Connecticut. Wade is my husband’s middle name and if you know Weston, it’s perfect that he if any of our five children carry their father’s middle name. Weston and Mo look the most alike and each have a strong sense of self. Weston is very strong willed, opinionated and sees the world through his own lens. He has an ease and confidence that allows him to flow through life, and that is very much like his father. Quick wit and humor are also strong attributes of Weston and those mirror his father so very much, they always know how to bring light to a situation and make people laugh. Weston is also very creative. He writes books, builds LEGOS, draws with chalk on the driveway and everything to him has a story line. He is a story teller, a lot like me. He appreciates the story line and fantasizes about the “what ifs.” For being just seven years old, he surprises me contently with where his mind will take him. The creative avenues Weston takes remind me very much of myself and the ability I have to get lost in a story (that English teacher in me). Weston can also be emotional, we often will say that he feels everything, the highest highs and the lowest lows, and he completely wears his emotions. He wants things to be fair and struggles to understand when they aren’t. That seems very typical of a seven year old, but I see how those things really are reflections of myself. I too can ride the wave of emotion and struggle when I see aspects of life as not just and fair. We love his passion and strong-willed nature and know that so much of that he gets honestly.
“Corbin Thresher Ross” that is what he currently goes by and refers to himself as. He is our full of spunk and light, three year old and is the perfect middle child. Corbin is a true conversationalist. He will talk to anyone and loves to ask questions and share about his family and ideas. You can’t make it through the grocery store without him striking up multiple conversations per aisle. This attribute is so much like his father. I always joke that I would never survive a social gathering without him. Mo loves to talk to people and knows exactly how to make people comfortable around him, this is something that has carried on through Corbin. He laughs constantly and sees the world as an adventure. With his one dimple, he is truly irresistible. Corbin is also very observant. He can read the room and people. His tenderness and heart remind me of myself, he hates to see his siblings upset and can pick up on moments when I’m struggling. He always offers a hug, a smile, and will leave you giggling. Corbin’s name was a tough one for us. We didn’t find out the gender of our first three and so we had a girl name ready, but a potential boy name for baby number three was a challenge. I decided for no real logical reason that it had to be six letters, because Parker and Weston’s were and then slightly unique because we couldn’t go traditional after naming his brothers what we did. Mo was the one who stumbled upon Corbin and we fell in love with it. Thresher is my maiden name and will no longer carry on in our family after my father, so I wanted to preserve that history and I can tell already he will be proud to share his family history with everyone and anyone that he meets in life, so he was the perfect one to have Thresher as his middle name.
My two grandmothers’ names were Carol and Joan, so Caroline was named after two women that were very important to me, two women that I see their reflections in me. Their grace and determination, loyalty and faithfulness are pieces that I treasure about myself because I know it came from them. I see these things in Caroline as well. She is a nurturer. Caroline loves all of her brothers fiercely, but as you can guess she has a very special bond with her twin brother, Ryland. She is his mama, even at two years old. If Ryland is upset she gets his binkie, if she has a cup she will make sure Ryland has one too. The one thing I’m in awe of is how she is with baby dolls and toys, she will snuggle her dolls and kiss everything. She loves to hug and has such a nurturing quality about her. Maybe it’s a girl thing, but she innately wants to provide for others, comfort them, and can be so gentle and kind. Those who have known me my whole life know that I was destined to be a mom, it was in me to want to help, support, and guide others. Yes, five children is a lot, but they will say it makes perfect sense that you went on to have lots of babies, it’s who you are. I don’t know if Caroline will go off and have a large family, but I do know she has the qualities to “mother” and be the support others will need in life. As sweet as she is, Caroline is also extremely passionate, bold and strong-willed. The fire I see in her, is the same fire that is in her father. Mo was the third Ross boy and so had to vie for attention, find his voice and his own path. That is Caroline. She is one girl with four brothers and she stands right up to them. We will never question her ability to accomplish anything in life, because she was built to move mountains.
Ryland, our baby, is such a light. He laughs constantly and has the best giggle. Ryland reminds me so much of Mo, they both see the world through a positive lens and are energized to explore the world around them. When I was pregnant with the twins, Mo urged me to find out the gender and so when we discovered there would be a girl and a boy we knew the girl name, but once again were back to the drawing board with a boy name. Six letter requirement, but we were scouring every piece of inspiration and one name that was on the list for when we had Weston was Ryland, all because of the remake of the TV show Dallas. Ryland was the last name of the villain in the show and it just struck us as being unique, plus Mo and I were obsessed with this show! Garee is Ryland’s middle name and Mo’s mom’s maiden name. It’s fitting that we gave this name to Ryland because Mo’s mother, Diane, and really their entire family is so easy going, and they see the world through rose-colored glasses, that is very much Ryland at two years old, happy and finds the fun in all moments, I really think he will always be that way. Ryland loves music and books. You will often find him singing a nursery rhyme or a Disney favorite (current obsession is Lion King). He will almost bounce along and has perfect pitch for a two year old. The music obsession comes from me, I grew up in a musical family, and found my voice and talent through music, whether I was playing the piano, bells, or singing in the choir, music made me feel alive and still does, and I can see that it does the same for my baby boy. Ryland is also a reader, I hope this sticks with him. Just recently we will notice that he’s snuck away and find him amongst a pile of books, reciting his version and completely focused. A good story is something I too can’t resist and I love that this is a reflection of myself that I see in him.
The true definition of a reflection is the throwing back of a body or surface of light. Isn’t that true when we look at others and see a reflection of ourselves in them? It is the light in them that bounces back and reminds us of the greatness that resides within. The pieces of ourselves that pass on to our children or those around us are the pieces that elevate them, they take and acquire the aspects of ourselves that lift them up. When I think back, the reflections that I see in my children, of my husband and I, are things like their compassion, their strength, their creative nature and their willingness to walk through life laughing and loving others. Those things are aspects they see in us and emulate in their own lives.
What a powerful thing, to know you are being watched, to know that you influence how your children and close friends and community will move forward in this world. We aren’t always perfect and we see that reflected in those that watch us closely as well, but there’s no reason to dwell on that aspect of life and reality. Rather, lets take a moment to consider how we can be the change we want to see in the world, and embolden those around us, for me, my children, to take those positive attributes that we contain and shape a world we want to live in. My children are reflections of my husband and I in so many ways and it’s humbling to know we will continue to carry on through them and future generations.