So, I was perusing the new books section at the library last week and found a fascinating book called The Wisdom of Your Child's Face, by Jean Hanner. What really caught my eye was the subtitle: "Discover Your Child's True Nature with Chinese Face Reading." The Chinese face reading part wasn't anything I'd ever heard of, but discovering my children's true natures...that sounded great! I mean, I spend all day, every day with them. Knowing their personalities, tendencies, differences in what nature has provided them might come in handy.
What have I discovered with this cool find? That Chinese face reading probably takes years to master. I've had the book for about a week. I don't have it down yet. Here are the basics, though...the Chinese believe that our faces give hints of our futures and tell the tales of our pasts. In our faces can be seen our personalities, our hardships, our joys. Some of it is a little hard to accept at face value, if you will. But I love the idea of it.
Chinese face reading uses the shapes of our eyes, brows, hairlines, ears, chins, noses, even the little spot between the upper lip and nose, which I learned is called the philtrum, to determine which of the Five Elements are expressed most strongly in us. The book is broken into sections for each of the Elements. Within each section, the writing begins with anecdotes of children whose personalities are of that Element then moves on to tell which traits can be seen in a child who matches up. I found myself nodding as I read through a few of them...
"Yes, this is Gracie!"
"Oh my goodness...that's so me!"
"OK. No question here...this is Jace."
Tyler was a little less clear, perhaps because he's so young yet. But I still think I know which Element is his, at least for now. Hanner states that one element may be stronger in a child's face and personality early on, but then may change as they grow. Also, there may be more than one Element at the forefront of their personalities. So, here's what I think we've got going on...
I believe I'm of the Earth. That Element's temperament is mothering (duh!), stable, patient, and diplomatic. I think that fits me.
Scott is Wood, I think. Wood personalities tend to be direct, focused, strong, hard-working, yet flexible.
Metal fits Jace. These people tend to be visionaries, determined, persistent, and organized.
Without a doubt, Gracie is Fire. She's dynamic and bright free spirit and a lover.
Tyler was a little tricky, as I said. But I think he might be lean toward Water, except that he does not like to be in water, unless it's the tub. In Georgia he'd stand out in that insane heat and walk around the pool while the rest of us cooled off in the water. The traits associated with water, though, are flexibility and calmness. I also see a lot of Fire in him too. So, I don't really know.
Even though I don't have Tyler figured out for sure, I do know that we've got a lot of personality going on!
And, what am I taking from this exercise? Well, I heard one time that people who are great in their fields had parents who didn't hold them back. What if Barbara Walter's parents had shut her up every time she talked? Or Oprah's? What if a famous dancer (I don't know any names off the top of my head) was told to sit down every time he or she jumped off the couch. What is Bill Gates wasn't allowed to stick his head in a book or open his own lemonade stand? (I don't know if he ever really had a stand as a child...just saying...)
Ever since hearing that insight I've hoped I'm not hampering Gracie's spirit when I ask her not to laugh so hard. I hope I'm not holding Jace back by telling him that he's not going to have a slew of people join his adventure club. Hanner's book gave me another lens to look at their personalities through, another way of understanding their true natures. Hopefully with these new descriptions of my children I can support them even more...somehow. I can allow Jace his dreams of inventing everything from jet packs to a make-my-parents-let-me-do-what-I-want-inators. I can hopefully encourage Gracie's love of dance, gymnastics, singing, and, of course, dressing pretty. Tyler just wants to "play all day." Doable.
As always, I'm looking for little ways, new philosophies, ideas and suggestions...whatever can help me be the best mother I can be* right now for these incredible kids. Knowing which of the Five Elements each of my children expresses is another entry in my bag of tricks.
*Um...yeah...I'm totally an Earth Element mama!