My children are 19 months apart in age.
It is quite safe to say those first few years of being the parent to two children are a blur. Two kids in diapers, two babies still sleeping in cribs, trying to get one child to give up the pacifier while desperate for the other child to embrace it. There were many times my husband and I looked at each other, wondering what were we thinking when we opted to have kids so close together.
But now that my children are older, I must say, the rewards are many.
My son and daughter are unbelievably close. They are each other’s preferred playmate and they spend hours on end together, making up games to play, enjoying the same movies, building blanket forts and secret hideouts. And while there is plenty of “She won’t let me have a turn!” and “He’s being mean!” thrown about, for the most part, they get along extremely well, and it warms my heart to no end. I didn’t have close sibling relationships growing up, and I am delighted my children are getting the experience.
Another benefit to having kids close in age is that generally, their interests are the same. It’s easy to plan weekend outings and family game nights when your children like the same things. Sure, there are some gender differences, but that’s where their closeness really comes in handy: Eli is willing to put up with the princess stuff for his sister, while Emma embraces Star Wars and superheroes. Everybody gets a turn and, for the most part, everyone is happy.
I often wonder if this will last. Will Emma become annoyed by her little brother as she gets older? Will Eli deem himself too cool to do the icky girl stuff at some point? I suppose some of that is inevitable, and really, normal. I’ll have to find a way to live with it. But underneath any future sibling hostility, I’ll know there’s genuine affection there. That’s enough for me.
Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in September. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom on Tuesdays.