Since my daughter Makena was born, she's been a Grabber. I’m not kidding. As a newborn weighing in less than 5lbs. - when she wanted the bottle, she'd literally thrust her arms out and take it. On the flip side, when she didn't want it - look out - it was NOT happening. She’d curl her lips and turn away. Today, 22 months later - she’s got that exact same “I know exactly what I want so don’t bother trying to convince me otherwise” energy.
Her twin sister, Hope is the opposite of course. She'll take things in stride and is very steady with her actions (hence my last article calling her "The Repeater). At the moment, their dual/duel approaches to life are working out because when Makena sees something in Hope's hand and takes it, 9 out of 10 times, Hope will lightly acknowledge it and move on to something else. On occasion, Hope and I will look at each other and shrug, “The Grabber strikes again!” and we’ll go play with something else.
I sometimes joke around that Makena is like those little old Asian ladies in Chinatown. You know, the ones who when they see one last ripe mango at the stall or one last empty seat on the subway, they will push, stomp, and shove anyone in their way to get what they want. They will snatch up that mango! And once in hand, I swear each time I've witnessed it, there's always this sly smirk of indifference that pops up on their face and screams “Ha, Ha Sucker!” This unfortunately is not behavior limited to this world. I see it in the gym arena too, especially when I teach a packed class. The "claiming" of the spot, the marking of the territory, the seizing of a last 5 lb. dumbbell - there's a sense of "MINE" that comes out and it's aggressive, almost mean, and it is most definitely ungracious.
So this is of course, wrong - right? Well, yeah it is but let me add this caveat: we should always be gracious and inclusive but we should honor what we truly want and desire. Let me go back to our twins.
Sharing is actually a concept we're drilling home with the girls. But I started thinking - Makena is, by nature, a Grabber. She's a go-getter and she's naturally aggressive when she sees something she wants. And as a Father to a girl, I want my daughters to maintain some of that go-get-em chutzpah, or cajones that is fostered in us dudes. So while we'll talk about being "gentle", "sweet", "kind" and all the sharing stuff that does make sense - I will also be making sure she maintains some of the Grabber energy in her life. At the same time, we will also be making sure she does so with a sincere smile and with empathic thoughts to folks she takes that last mango or dumbbell from.
I think, act and share a lot about Living Life Large. My daughters are a constant reminder to me that this is about taking a hold of our lives - grabbing if you will, and going for what we want with all our might. At 22 months, Makena grabs with a sense of clarity that is frankly, inspiring. The trick now is to live The Grabber Life with as much love and joy as possible. And maybe share a mango or two along the way. Cheers - Marc