One of the things I love about having so many children, and there are lots of reasons why I completely and utterly love having a big family, is seeing the relationships between each of the siblings grow. I have to say that they are all incredibly close in their own way and it makes me feel incredibly lucky that for the most part they get along so well. We had two children very close together, a big gap, then two more close together. We always hoped to have a big family but the big gap in the middle wasn’t entirely planned. It was just one of those things that happens when life gets in the way, you know? Starting school, moving house, changing schools, renovations, new jobs, bigger cars… and before you know it nearly seven years have passed.
Friends thought we were mad for starting all over again just as our first two were getting to a relatively easy age but on the flip side, years later some of those very friends now confess that they wish they maybe had just one more. It’s funny because I used to worry about the big age gap back then and how it would work. But it was all for nothing because I can honestly say that sibling age gaps mean diddly squat. I hand on heart believe that whatever gap you end up with, it has a way of working out just fine. Like many things when it comes to raising a family, there is no right or wrong, there is only what is right for you.
There are just twenty-three months between my youngest two and they are (and always have been) the very best of friends. This last year has seen them both move in different circles with my now twelve-year-old moving up to secondary school last September. They are both growing up at an alarming rate (as children insist on doing) but despite no longer being quite so much in each other’s pockets as they start finding their own way as they make these tentative steps into the godawful tween years, they are still incredibly close.
At the start of the summer holidays, there was the inevitable bickering that comes with that whole thing of readjusting to all being at home together while being utterly exhausted after the longest school term ever. I have learnt to leave them to it for the most part as any attempt at intervening normally sees them falling out with me rather than each other. But the bickering was quickly replaced with the thick as thieves stage
where they worked together to try and break me and it shows no sign of waning even at this late stage of the summer. I’m actually sad at the thought of them going back to school and being separated again next week. They were chattering at the dinner table the other day about ‘their house’ and it seems that this is the summer that they have made grand plans for their futures. It inevitably involves lots of cats (they are their mother’s daughters) but basically they have decided that it makes sense if they live together when they grow up and leave home. They will only need a one bedroom house because they can’t get to sleep without each other so it just makes sense. Well of course it does. Oh my heart!
One of the things that I love about writing a blog is being able to look back on anecdotes like this. These times are so fleeting. The little boy I used to write about who used to launch Nerf gun attacks as I vacuumed and make me wring my hands in worry trying to decide when and if he would ever be old enough to play at the swings with his friends is now a Fully Grown Man who shaves and wears suits and travels to London on business and everything. Mind boggling really. One day in the not so distant future when the full force of the adolescent hormones hit, these two will quite possibly be tearing each others hair out fighting about who stole whose make-up and I will want to remember this little gem. Memories fade but you know what they say about sharing stuff on the internet? Well it’s there forever isn’t it! Ha!