My boys are four and a half years apart, and I have had many parents ask me if I am sad my boys aren’t “closer.” I am always curious about their definition of “closer.” Do they mean the kids won’t be in consecutive grades? That if the age gap exceeds 24 months my children won’t have a relationship with one another?
The gap between my youngest brother and myself is 17 years, and I never questioned whether that made us close. In high school, I helped change siblings’ diapers. In college, I would come back to watch elementary and middle school plays. That was my normal. The age differences between the five of us never made me feel like I had any less opportunity to be close to them, it was just in different ways.
Now, I watch my six-year-old play blocks with his brother. He builds towers to only have them knocked down by a toddler. He crawls into his little brother’s crib in the morning and reads him books. When it is snack time he helps get snacks together for both of them, and always makes sure they are both more than taken care of in the treat department.
My youngest chases his brother around and tries to do everything his big brother does. He asks for help and brings him cars so they can race together. He shares pieces of popcorn with him and lays his head on his shoulder as they cuddle and watch a movie together.
Their age gap does not define their ability to be close as brothers.
And to be honest their age gap keeps me sane. We never had both in diapers at the same time. Our oldest was able to clearly communicate his needs when we brought a newborn home, and I have enjoyed them at their two very different stages in life over the past two years. It
The time between the two gave my husband and me time to sleep and time to allow for each other. As the boys get older to enjoy each stage the way we prefer to.
I love my children’s age gap. This worked out for our family. As the two-year mark has approached for our youngest we get more questions of when we’ll have another. “You know… so the kids can be ‘close’.” I shrug, and just say not yet. And that’s okay.
Everyone has a pace they like to have children, can have children, or that it works to bring children to a family. It’s important to do what’s best for your family, your kids will love each other and build a unique bond no matter the years apart or the different ways they are brought into your family.