Welcome to my Perspectives Series, where I host a guest blogger whose perspective differs from my own. While we share a passion for our families and for writing, our priorities, responsibilities and situations are not the same. And it’s the differences I’d like to highlight here, because let’s face it, the world is more interesting that way.
Today it is my distinct honor to share my space with Christine, whose life is ALMOST like a mirror image of mine, with a full-time job in communications, a family and a love of paper craft, except she is the mother of two. And that’s brand new territory for me.
Please help me welcome her – leave a comment and take some time to visit her site - and see for yourself what I see every time I read her words: an honest, beautiful writer who is also a genuinely kind and compassionate soul.
I will never forget the moment when oldest son, C, met his new baby brother. X had barely been in the world for 24 hours. I was very apprehensive about their greeting, but even more worried about how their relationship would blossom. X was after all, changing our family dynamic, and C would no longer be our only centre. Now he would have to share that centre with his baby brother.
C came to the hospital with his grandparents. His father went to greet him and bring him to have a moment alone with his new family of four. With great care, C (who was 2 ½ at the time) tiptoed over to the hospital bed with a look of awe and anticipation on his face. His reaction when he saw his new baby brother?
“Mommy, he’s so cute!”
In that moment, a sense of calm and peace settled over me. I knew it would all be alright.
And it has been. My youngest, X, is almost 17 months and the transition to two boys, though fraught with challenges for ME, has progressed with surprising ease for my oldest son. Their relationship has truly blossomed in all the ways that I hoped it would. As I witness it each day, their friendship unfolding, my heart bursts with pride and awe.
The authenticity of their brotherly relationship, however, has not been without amusing obstacles. As my youngest discovers his own personality, we begin to face the normal battles for supremacy. They don’t notice it, and it’s completely without malice. But we do. For example, whenever one is getting an extra snuggle, the other zeroes in and takes his own rightful place on a second lap. Or when one is having a particularly yummy treat, he’d better be prepared to share, because what one has, the other must too. The oldest finds the youngest a wee bit noisy and struggles to keep his cool when he’s literally melting down. The youngest, by comparison, isn’t fond of his brother invading his space. He’s been known to swat him out of the way and wail in anger.
As time marches on, and we settle into a comfortable routine as a family of four, I’m struck by how quickly my youngest is growing up. In some ways, he seems more capable than his brother was at the same age. I suppose that comes from having an older example, one whom he looks up to and aspires to be. Whatever big brother can do, little brother will try to do too. It’s entertaining, and bittersweet. I wish he would slow down, stay my little baby, and not worry about keeping up. But if my suspicions are true, as he grows more capable, the age gap between the two will seem to diminish even more. My youngest will always be racing toward the oldest, wanting to do what he is, to be just like him. How different his experience will be because of it.
I remember a day, early in our adventure with two children; I was sitting on the couch with the baby cuddled close. C was watching us, but not intently. All was fine. And then, all of a sudden, he came over and very matter-of-factly said to me:
“You need BOTH your boys.”
And up he climbed up into my lap. It was a glorious, heart-filling moment. Because, indeed, he was right, I do need both my boys.
Christine blogs at Coffees & Commutes. She is a wife, mother, and full-time communications specialist. On her blog she shares her journey in self-discovery and discusses what it means to be a working mom who’s struggling to find her place in life. As a reader, you’ll be invited to ponder issues like balance and finding joy in the ordinary. It’s a quiet, thoughtful place to pull up a chair, grab a coffee, and spend a minute just thinking about what it means to be really fulfilled.
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If you’re a mom of two, what is your experience like? Are your kids like Christine’s?
What do you love about having more than one child?
If you don’t plan on Number 2, would you care to share your reason?
What’s your own life like with a sibling when you were growing up?
Do you believe birth order has something to do with how kids are raised?
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