“When I’m 12 years old how old will the baby be?”
I get several versions of this question on a daily basis from my six-year-old while he’s staring at my tummy. He’ll be a whopping seven years old when this baby is born. When I start doing the math, the age gap between my two little guys is going to be significant. It really didn’t worry me until recently.
A visit to my parents and a walk down memory lane in watching old childhood VHS’s put things in perspective. I am the oldest of three, I have a brother three years younger than me and a sister that’s ten years younger than me. To the outside world a hefty age reads two things: A) someone’s in a new relationship/marriage (Hello! That would be my husband and I over here, along with some fertility trouble included) or B) this was a “surprise” situation. For the record, my sister wasn’t a surprise situation. I asked.
About these blast from the past home videos … they really showed how awful I was to my little sister. When she was younger and I was a preteen/teenager, if it wasn’t ‘N Sync or BSB I wanted nothing to do with it, sisters included. So do I have this to look forward to? My boys not being close? When my oldest is twelve, his younger brother will be five and they’ll have different interests, tastes in music and TV and just overall priorities. I keep flashing back to these home movies where I audibly refer to my sister as a brat and roll my eyes at her.
I already know that having two boys with this age gap is going to be challenging. I feel like I’m completely starting from scratch. Baby clothes, cribs, and bottles are long gone. Until recently, sleeping through the night wasn’t a problem (thanks pregnancy). Going from a mostly independent child to one that is solely dependent on you is still worrisome to me. It’s going to be interesting to navigate. I certainly hope that my first baby will a lot more helpful than I was.
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel with the age gap. The baby through adolescence phases might be tough, but adulthood is where the magic happens. Now that my sister is wrapping up her sophomore year of college, she can confide in me without the worry of me tattling on her. I can be transparent with her about the dumb things I did in my college years/twenties and beg her to learn to from them. The trust there is imperative and I don’t think we would dare mess that up.
I look forward to those days where my little baby can look up to his older brother. In the meantime, here’s hoping he’s not rolling his eyes at him and name calling during his 2nd birthday party.