I'm going to dove-tail two questions together.
How would you describe your possums?
How has atheism affected your possums' characters?
Possum#1 is a very smart possum. She's incredibly gifted, academically, and fairly pragmatic (in most regards). She's drop-dead gorgeous. I don't really think atheism has led to those traits. She's kind of quiet and shy, but if you cross her...watch out! I had a teacher tell me that she was the kind of kid who you almost forget about "because she's so good that you could miss her entirely". She loves reading and music. She's also our fashionista'. She, unlike her mother, actually cares about clothes, hair, and make-up. Maybe someday she'll take pity on me and show me what to do. HA! She was all of those things before our family took the position of atheism/agnosticism. The one thing I have noticed is that she's quicker to call an injustice an injustice, lately. And, I think that's directly related to our ethics/morals.
Possum#2 is hysterical. He is every bit as bright as P#1, but he's not as diligent about it. He is tremendously talented with voices and languages. And, he can memorize dialogue in an instant. This makes him a great comedian and orator. He's always had a little harem of girls that follows him around (although, he hates it when we acknowledge that). He's handsome, but I think it's the sense of humor that really endears him to the girlies. :) He's also phenomenal with kids. He has always been a great brother. In fact,... we were just talking about that last night. When he was two and P#1 was three, they attended the same preschool. There was this one kid who used to tease P#1 and bully her. P#2, at the age of two, saw this bully pestering his sister and, our usually passive/peaceful possum, went balls-out across the playground and penned the four year old bully to a tree. He just held him there. Didn't punch or slap (like you would imagine a two year old to do). He just held him against the tree, glared at him, and said "THAT MY SISTER! NO!" Which, I believe, was his two year old way of saying, "STEP OFF, JERK!" Before that day, he'd never done anything physically aggressive. And, since that day, he's never done anything remotely aggressive. Has our atheism/agnosticism changed P#2? *thinks* I think he's become a bit more cynical... but, he's always been comical, so I'm not sure if the cynicism is just an outgrowth of that or if he is really viewing the world differently. Yeah. Maybe he's a bit more vocal about absurdity.
Possum#3 is stubborn!! :) She's absolutely adorable, but man is she stubborn. She reminds me of a ninja - always thinking and plotting, while looking cute. She doesn't seem that interested in academics, but...she's only four. She does show a flare for math and problem solving...but, of the four possums, she's the least likely to pick up a book. Example: she got put in the "time out chair" for being pigheaded and rude the other night (YES! It happens. Possums aren't perfect. I'll be the first to admit that!). We put her in the chair (basically, a booster seat at the dining table that has a seat belt) and told her she had to sit for four minutes and then apologize. DH and I left the room. To say that she voiced her displeasure would be an understatement. Now... the booster seat is also strapped to the chair. So, at a certain point, she rocked the chair into a position wherein it was on it's two front legs. She grabbed our table and used her upper arm strength to slowly lower the chair forward until her knees were on the ground...at which point she crawled (with the booster seat and chair strapped to her) into the room we were in and said, "Is my time up yet?" *ROLLS EYES* Yup. She looked like a turtle.
Has atheism had any effect on her? I don't know... but, she's pretty independently minded and I don't see her "fitting in" to any sort of "good Christian woman" ideal. Subservience is not her gig.
P#4 is still a bit of a mystery. He's only two. :) But, he's really snuggly and cute. He loves books. He loves things with axles and wheels: trucks, cars, buses, tractors, trains. He's extremely articulate for a two year old. And, my favorite phrase, of his, is "Hey. Wait. I gotta' question." He's also a stunt junky. I don't know how he does what he does, but the kid is like one of those Super Balls that you used to get for a quarter, out of the machine. *boing* No fear! Has atheism had any effect on him? No. He's two. BUT - he does know the difference between real and pretend...he's got a great poker face and is hard to fool. :)
My possums are like a high-end food court. Many different flavors and tastes, all in one place. LOVE IT! It's never dull. I can't wait to see what's next on the menu.