S and B are 17 months and change apart. They will be a couple years different in schools because of where their birthdays fall, but they are close in age. I never really worried about them being so close in age when I was pregnant with B until the way end. My sister and brother and I are close in age and I loved having siblings who were close in age growing up. We got to do a lot of things together and were able to enjoy some of the same things.
When B had been cooking for 35ish weeks, I started to freak out about the closeness in age. Nearly every person I ran into, stranger or not, would tell me that I was going to have my hands full. No sh*t. People still ask how far apart they are in age and if they were planned. My family planning = None. Of. Your. Business. Anyways, I started to wonder what the 17 month age difference would mean for them growing up. I fell victim to judgement, and have since learned to keep reminding myself that it is no one’s business how spaced out my babies are. 17 months or 17 years, it is everyone’s own business how they got to their precious little families. One of my dearest friends, A, is 22 years apart from his little brother and they are just the greatest together!
Sadie was about 16 months and walking well, but I still loved carrying her. She sat proudly on my bump and just as we still are, we were two peas in an extended pod. (ironically, she still tries to sit on Brooks’ lap at times). I’ll never forget being at a strip mall in the burbs with her sitting on my bump and a woman came up to me with sympathetic eyes and said to S, “Awww, soon you won’t be the only one mommy pays attention to.” Well thanks, lady. My raging hormones didn’t need you to remind me that life was changing soon.
Here is what I have learned about having two kids close in age. (And I suspect I will be able to add to this when #3 comes when B is almost 2 years old).
1. I chose this path. Its no one else’s business how many kids or when I have them. I often admire those precious siblings who have a larger gap in age and really caretake for each other. The more you worry about what other people think, the more precious moments you miss.
2. They are best friends. Literally. They love on each other amidst the arguments and sharing problems. The first thing B asks about in the morning is where S is. (followed shortly by the rest of the fam- he takes attendance each morning- maybe he will be a teacher like mom and dad one day!)
3. They get to experience life with a playmate all the time. S learns from B just as much as B learns from S. They each have their strengths and watch each other very carefully. B is by nature a super polite kid. He says please and thank you nearly every time. S did not get this intuition, but she has started to pick up on his politeness much like he picks up on her ability to charm and love fiercely.
4. We are in the weeds of parenthood all at once. Each day brings a new bloom, and we have so many family roots AND so many blooms all at once to be proud of.
5. I’m trying my hardest not to blink. These sweet moments are jam packed for the kids, and I know that one day I will look back and see how quickly it went by. Until then, I will enjoy that I have a career and family which lets me focus on family, life, love, and baby rearing.