Some of us wait eagerly for those two pink lines, the flashing word “Pregnant” to come across the little stick. I remember finding out that I was pregnant with my son. I looked at my 13-year-old, and while my husband and I so badly wanted a baby, fear crept in.
How am I going to do this entire Mom thing again? What while his relationship be like with his sister when they are 13 years apart? Will she resent him? Resent her stepfather? Me?
All at the same time. All drastically different points in life.
Every fear, every doubt ran through my mind. Then, he came, and it was time to face the music.
I held my breath.
It was beautiful.
My daughter cried when she saw him. Her fear of holding him wasn’t even a thought, as she swept him into her arms and stared loving at him. As I was healing from a C-section, she did far more than I expected—getting bottles and burp cloths. Reading him stories and rocking him when his daddy and I needed a break. She even changed a few diapers and always offered to help wherever she could.
Not much has changed; if anything, their relationship has gotten stronger. He just turned one and adores his sister. When she gets up from her teenage slumber, he laughs and reaches out for her, and her eyes beam with joy as she sweeps him in her arms, smothering his face with kisses. He hugs her back and coos, and my heart melts.
That fear should be gone, right? There are still days when the fear creeps in, and I wonder if I am doing enough.
On rough days, I can’t help but wonder, did I spend enough time with my daughter today? The guilt creeping in from ordering pizza, instead of making a home-cooked meal. From propping the baby in front of Sesame Street much longer than anticipated, so I could get some much-needed work done.
But then, I peek in the living room and my teenager is on the floor, playing cars with her brother. Lying on the floor so he can crawl all over her, and tickling him. The laughter vibrates through our home and that fear, those doubts, are gone as quickly as they came.
My children may be at different stages in their lives and knowing how to juggle their needs will always be a worry, but the fear of having children far apart in age is just that—a fear. An irrational thought that perhaps they won’t get along. That maybe they’ll resent each other.
Their bond is beyond measure. Their love for each other solidified with each smile, each laugh, each hug.
I hope that as the years go by and they each find their own lives and I am gone, that no matter what, they remember the days of playing cars in the living room, the sacrifices that each makes for the other as I struggle to find balance in being a mother to two wonderful children.
I hope that as close as they are today, they will remain so as time goes by.
So, the fear of having kids far apart? Don’t fear it. Embrace it. Because you will be giving them the greatest gift, each other, and that will last a lifetime.