Abel has always been fine-motor oriented. We’ve noticed it since, well, birth. As a baby he would gently touch everything, pinching them up with his fingers. He was, and continues to be, extremely tactile. He wasn’t the first to roll or crawl or walk (as you can guess, his brother is the opposite of him and excels at the gross-motor stuff), but he was well ahead of Oskar to clap, do the baby ring toss, put puzzles together, etc. Since he’s been in preschool, his teachers have frequently commented on how fine-motor meticulous he is.

He’s been good at articulating letters for a while now, but as far as putting words together accurately, he’s been on a process journey. It’s been fun and amazing to witness him spelling words with the letters going backwards or diagonal, wondering when it would come together for him. Then one day, about a month ago, we found this on the easel:

I love how it arrived without any fanfare or announcement. Like it always belonged, it was just a matter of uncovering it. It always amazes me how kids work and work on things and then one day, it just clicks. They get it. And from then on they own it. Abel has found his signature and now it is everywhere, on every drawing or painting or worksheet. My favorite part of this is how he articulated the “E,” which the day after he had already self-corrected. Now that he found his name, other words are following, and I’ve noticed a huge leap in his reading progress and his ability to recognize and sound-out words.

When the boys were babies, I felt like their developmental differences really stressed me out. I constantly wondered if one (or both) was delayed, a lag of a month feeling like an eternity. Having twins and the ability to constantly compare them was a burden. Now I feel like it’s a blessing and that I’m a more supportive parent because of it. I don’t stress about the differences and, if anything, it gives me the space to work with them, encourage and challenge them, at the place where they are. I can appreciate and feel the joy and spontaneity in those big broad brush strokes that Oz finds so satisfying. And I can patiently give Abel the full hour he needs to create, which seems to unfold from some master plan in his mind.

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