I love having a boy and a girl because they are so vastly different while being so similar. I used to believe that girls were created inherently feminine and that boys were created to be rough and tumble, and perpetually dirty, but I was wrong. A lot of things we teach our children I think shapes them in ways unforeseen. For example we never bought our first born "girl" toys. We always bought him things like cars, and action figures, or genderless toys like Elmo or Iggle Piggle. It's only after having a girl (and letting her have Gabe's hand me downs- everything from toys to clothes) do I realize gender can and is shaped to a certain extent.
Gabriel, despite being a rough and tumble, little guy, also has a feminine side I refuse to squash or discourage. He is so affectionate to every living creature..except bugs - he hates bugs, and refuses to get near them- and is eager to hug, kiss, pet, play, feed, any dog or cat that strays into his path. He doesn't like to be dirty and thoroughly enjoys bath times. He plays more with his "dolls" (Woody and Buzz) than he does with his cars. He cuddles his blanket at night and can't sleep without it, and instead of sleeping with his blue glow worm, he has decided he likes the pink one best. When he's upset he cries "I want my mama" and can only be consoled by me or distracted by his sister (whose laughter can break any person into a grin). He is his sisters best friend and although there are times he gets annoyed with her constant attention; usually, he hugs, kisses and makes her laugh harder than anyone I have ever seen. My boy is a good balance of masculine and feminine and I hope he remains this way forever.
Eden, despite being a little princess, also has a masculine side I refuse to squash or discourage. Unlike her brother, she has a pretty intense fear of many animals, but loves bugs. She'll touch any sort of insect, just as long as its moving slow enough for her little hands to pick it up. While Gabe is screaming a high pitch wail, and shouting "don't", Edie is in the process of picking up a worm or eating a wood bug who had the unfortunate luck of squirming past her foot. She loves to be dirty and hates having her face washed. She screams bloody murder during bath times, and fights tooth and nail to avoid brushing her teeth or getting her diaper changed. Her best friend is her big brother and she loves to copy everything he does - from trying to climb the stairs to attempting to make "Woody" (gabe's toy story action figure) fight with Buzz. She think its hilarious for her brother to dive onto the ground in front of her, or to shake toys in her face, even if he accidentally ends up whacking her with it. She finds people most amusing when they are grimacing in pain, or falling down around her, and I'm pretty sure she will end up being a UFC fan..or fighter.
I know it's inevitable that their peers will shape their likes and dislikes at some stage in their life, I just hope they always manage to find their way back to the core of who they are...whether that be dolls or mud pies.