“I’m not sure I like having a little sister”.
The words smack me in the face and my heart breaks a little.
But really, I get it. It’s not easy being the only child for 5 years and suddenly having to share everything, especially your mom and dad.
When your kids are as far apart age wise as mine there are certain challenges. Adding another kid to a family is never a smooth transition, adding another kid when you are used to things being just so. When you are used to being the only. When you can remember what it was like before she was born.
When you can remember weekends when it was all about what you wanted. When you can remember what life was like when everyone deferred to you. When you can remember when Moms attention wasn’t constantly split in two.
In many ways the age difference is easy. Jack had 5 years of just mom. He had years of me being home with just him and now he’s in school 5 days a week and I get to have undivided days with Grace.
More times than not I consider this age difference a fortunate turn of events. Each kid gets some time with just mom. And I get to have time at home with each of them.
But there are challenges to having such a big age difference . I worry if they will be close . I worry if they will get along. I worry if they will be friends. I worry that they will never be in the same stage of life at the same time. I worry about resentment and I worry about this little boy with a big heart who cried when he said, “he wasn’t sure he liked having a sister”.
And I know there are no guarantees that siblings born close together will be close. I know that having kids closer in age seems to be the thing to do and that having kids far apart in age raises eyebrows and questions. I know one way isn’t easier or better. I know there is no turning back time or trimming out years and making them closer in age. I can’t stitch it all up nicely or put a bow on it, though I wish I could.
I can raise them and love them and give them time and attention and affection. I can find more time for one on one activities. I can watch my tone and my patience and I can get more rest so that these things come easy. I can spend more time having fun and less time worrying about what isn’t getting done. I can’t make the age difference change but I can make him feel like he’s getting the attention he needs.