I don't know if it's because of summertime, and spending LOTS of time together, or because of their particular ages right now, but the differences between my two sons have become more and more pronounced lately. Specifically, this translates to the younger one brazenly flaunting his Thrill-seeking Nature, and the older one calmly demonstrating his Analytical Personality.
I first noticed it in Disney World, of all places. Riley tore off toward Goofy's Barnstormer rollercoaster, dragging me by the hand and whooping with anticipation. Derek took one look at the ride and stopped dead in his tracks like a balky mule, utterly refusing to give it a whirl. Riley loved the classic Haunted Mansion in all its spooky glory; Derek pulled his hat down over his eyes for the length of the trip. Without hesitation, Riley donned a snorkel mask and lifevest and paddled through a miniature reef, surrounded by sharks and stingrays. Derek ventured about a foot into the water and freaked out, at which point the kindly lifeguard hauled him back to shore.
And I believe that kind of sums it up: R flings himself into experiences with abandon, without giving a thought to the potential consequences. D thinks first, weighs the risks, and then often talks himself out of whatever it is, in his head. But they're 9 and almost-6 year old boys now, so from this point on, life is just going to keep presenting new, more exciting, and more challenging stuff to try. Maybe I can count on Caution Man to keep Danger Boy in line...or at least to tell Mom before things get TOO out of hand!