My boys are 8 years apart. Not by choice but what ended up being after secondary infertility. I'm often times curious how they would interact if they were closer in age. As it is, some days they get along and its really cute but most days, Keegan annoys the hell out of Daniel and Daniel isn't exactly the model big brother.
Kate and Daniel are 3 years apart and as little kids they were the best of friends (until she hit puberty and they didn't get along for about 4 years). People always commented to me about how lucky I was to have my kids get along so well. It was great for me because they would go off together and play and I could get stuff done and only occasionally had to referee.
Kate was always the fantasy child. I would by her dolls and a play kitchen but somehow it would be converted into a sky lab and the babies were astronauts. She much preferred to read Sci-Fi to Anne of Green Gables. This always made me sad because I felt like I was missing some mom bonding with her. I'm sorry, but I just have no interest in that genre. I watched Star Trek when Brian and I were dating only because everyone else in the family was and I had really no choice. Its OK, but I would never go out of my way to catch an episode. But Ramona and Anne and the Ingals family all hold a place in my heart. Its OK, though it is what it is.
Daniel was the kid who would rather play Lego's or program something on the computer than to go outside and play. I could take him anywhere as long as I had a box of Legos or blocks with me. He was/is highly sensitive which can be a problem at times. Like the smell of the yeast at Subway is so overwhelming that he wouldn't even walk into the store when he was younger. He's gotten better but strong smells and close quarters still set him over the edge. Not in an autistic manner but much more than normal. He also has motor delay which has made him less than coordinated. He doesn't like to play ball or ride a bike. I was always bummed that neither of the older two ever wanted to grab a ball and head outside with me.
Then came Keegan. After giving up on ever having the third child I so desperately wanted, I woke up one morning dying of thirst and with an incredibly and unusual craving for French Toast. I was dizzy and felt really off. We were at Grandma's so I attributed it to dehydration since I never drink enough there since I hate the well water. But sure enough I was pregnant. And despite a complete previa, I managed to carry this baby to full term with no bleeding or bed rest but I did have to have a cesarean (BOO!) It was a scary pregnancy. After my three losses and long times to get pregnant, I was the constant underwear checker. I went to the bathroom constantly not because I had to go as much as I wanted to make sure that I wasn't bleeding.
Keegan is the little pistol. He has more energy than anyone should ever be given. He wakes up every day with an agenda and God bless anyone who gets in his way. This determination will be good one day, but right now its a constant negotiation process for me. Why can't we just run to the hardware store after school and pick up some wood and bricks to build a clubhouse and oh, I want my friends to come over for a clubhouse meeting OK! Keegan loves basketball and baseball and running and riding a bike. I love it! But it comes with its drawbacks. I can't take him anywhere because he can't sit still long enough. I took him to a Girl Scout meeting one time and before I knew it he had climbed to the top of the cubed shelves and was sitting in the top cube. I really thought the Girls Service Director was going to have a heart attack. But slowly, little by little, his energy calms and I can see that all my constant redirecting is paying off.
Family is not what you imagine it will be when you are 13 and have the idea picture in your mind. It ends up being whatever it is and you learn to embrace the good and work with the less than ideal.
I love this picture. Its from a few years ago when we went to Hawaii for my friend's wedding. Right after our trip to the ED for Brian's broken collar bone and three ribs. Note to self if the locals get out of the water, it is not a good idea to continue body surfing.