Matt and I are a perfect examples of "opposites attract." He is a typical extrovert and I am a typical introvert. When he and Isaac go out of town, I stay at home with my books and some movies and could go days without seeing another human. When Isaac and I go out of town, Matt begins making plans to go out with friends to dinner, movies, anything that will provide him with some human interaction. Isaac so far seems to be a blend of our personalities -- a little bit extroverted and a little bit introverted. Sometimes, I like to believe that he has gotten the best parts of each of us. Other times, I fear that he is the worst of us rolled into one.
When we read Hello My name is Bob by Linas Alsenas tonight, instead of seeing the bears I imagined Matt and myself as the characters. It wasn't much of a stretch. Bob is a self-proclaimed boring bear. He likes to sit and do quiet things. He is low-key and fades into the background. Jack is colorful and bright and energetic. He stands out in a crowd and finds fun wherever he is. But they are best friends. They complement each other, as I like to believe Matt and I do.
I wondered as we read the book which character Isaac relates to more, or if he sees a little of himself in each of them. He definitely tends to make friends with children who are more extroverted than he. His closest friends, Aidan and Sam, are much more dominant personalities, and I worry sometimes that Isaac gets kind of lost in their shadow. But I also see how animated he is when he is around one of them. They seem to help him come out of his shell and be more courageous in social situations.
This book illustrates that friends don't have to be just like each other. Best friends are the people who accept us as we are, even if they don't always understand us. I hope that Isaac gets that message when he observes his father and me interacting. If not, Bob and Jack are good alternative role models.