"Completely different kid depending on which family brings them to their appointment!" I was taken back a little when those very words came out of our kids therapist mouth. I always knew that life was different in each household and yet, until that moment, I had never translated what that meant - two different, unique kids. Turns out my three youngest were quite adept at molding themselves depending upon the household.
Jax in particular probably changed the most between households. Religion, rules, bedtimes, chores and parent personalities led to two very different and distinct Jax's. At our home he was a young, carefree kid, our stand-up comedian. In Greta's home; a more serious, reserved, wise beyond his years, adult/caretaker.
It was a problem in the making long before he was even born - Raylan and Greta were two opposites. As our therapist so eloquently pointed out in our first meeting; the very personality conflicts between the two parents were likely to unfold within our kids as they grew-up. They would have to find a way to navigate and ultimately melt the two.
Having two households allowed Jax to explore both sides of his personality and watch each parent navigate their own life in a home that fit who they were. Fourteen years later, Jax is graduating on Saturday and heading off to College in August. Raylan pointed out "it's now time for Jax to join his two personalities into one. To live one life."
In a lot of ways it's like the unity candle lit between two people when they get married. The two candles representing who they are individually are extinguished and a new, bigger and brighter candle is lit in it's place, symbolizing the united life that lays ahead. The same holds true for Jax's as he looks to his future. He will be leaving behind two very different people for a unified, unique, bigger and better life that awaits him.
Jax's two college trips with us and Greta, have gone a long way in starting that unification. He was able to let his guard down. The result; a very artful merge of his two different personalities melting into one. The unified Jax was welcome with love, warmth and interest from all of us as we caught a glimpse of his other personality peeking through.
Much like a marriage, the unification process will take time and continue as Jax heads off to live life on his own terms. I can hardly wait to see the man he turns into as he finds unity from within!