That's the difference in ages of my children. I've spent a fair amount of time during the past 5 years bemoaning the fact that my children would not be closer in age. Even after I got pregnant with Ben and, yes, even since he's been born I've spent time thinking about and feeling frustrated about this. Of course, I truly am grateful to even have had a second. There was time that I feared Lucy would be an only child. There was a time when it looked most likely that we would add to our family via international adoption and then our kids would have been even farther apart in age. But truly, despite all my angst about it, the age difference between Lucy and Ben has been in some ways a blessing.
Lucy and Ben adore each other. Nothing makes my heart sing like watching her read to him or listening to her make him laugh. Sure she is and will continue to be very motherly to him. Hopefully he won't resent it too much as he get's older, but right now he just lights up around her. Also, to be frank, he is a handful and I feel every minute of my 41 years, so having Lucy be relatively more self sufficient is wonderful. Not only does she not need the same level of care, but she actually helps out with Ben a lot. She'll play with him so I can take a quick shower or throw some laundry in the washer or cook dinner. She reads to him and plays silly games that make him laugh out loud.
One downside is that Lucy has a lot of activities and Ben is hard to take out, so we often divide and conquer. This means that we don't go out too often as a family, but right now it's what works best for us. Also, I know that it's not forever, once he’s older and a little easier to handle we'll do more things together. Another benefit is that we're not trying to get two kids to a bunch of different activities. Lucy participates in a lot (probably too many) activities and I can imagine the additional logistics that would be required if we had to get Ben to practices or games too.
I used to worry a lot about what kind of relationship Lucy and Ben would have with 6 1/2 years between them, but my and my husband’s families are good examples that years apart don't dictate how well you get along with your siblings. My sister and I are 4 years apart and we’re not super close, but we get along well and talk frequently. My husband is 2 years younger than his sister and 2 years older than his brother and none of them ever talk to each other. They put up with each other once or twice a year at holidays and that’s it. So I see firsthand that being close in age doesn’t mean kids will grow up to be close. Also, a former roommate of mine was 6 years older than her brother and they were very close.
So while I still struggle sometimes with lingering feelings of anger and self pity and envy leftover from the years of infertility and treatment, I'm pretty OK with the difference in age of my kids.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
No clever subtext to the title, I just finally got Lucy to watch The Wizard of Oz with me. I bought the DVD over a year ago, but she refused to watch it with me. I don't remember how it came up last week, but she suggested that we watch it over the weekend. On Saturday afternoon, we made some popcorn and hot chocolate and curled up on the couch and watched it. And she loved it! She's been singing We're Off to See the Wizard all week. Sometimes it really is the little things that remind us how good life is.