I have 2 children. They are spaced (not by choice) 8 years apart. One came too early in life, but was a welcome surprise. Once I got over the OMG! OMG! MY LIFE IS RUINED aspect. I got to grow up right along side her and I do believe that owe a lot of who I am as a mature adult to her. Okay, I won't blame my habit of letting every item of clothing in the house form a giant Mt. Laundruvius on her... I did that one all by myself.
One came 10 months after my husband and I decided we were content (and a little bitter) to accept the fact that maybe we weren't supposed to have another. And then Boom! there he was. Only it really wasn't a Boom!, it was 9 months (8) of worrying and fretting, endless ultrasounds, getting mad at my mother in law for throwing me a shower because I really didn't think this one would "take" either. Even when he was here, I didn't believe he was here. If that makes any sense. And he was much loved, and more than a little spoiled. I did not realize how spoiled until my next door neighbor casually (and sort of snidely) marvelled that perhaps he wasn't walking at 14 months because his "feet never touched the ground" and perhaps (she's a speech pathologist) he wasn't talking well at 2 and a half because I never "made him ask for anything". How sad was I the day they moved? At 8, I've (sort of) cut the cord and he talks too well, the budding lawyer that he appears to be for all of his "let's reason this out" skills.
With these two children, the best part is when people say, "How lucky for you! Such a big age gap...there is no sibling rivalry." And then I would like to invite them over for dinner, if I was the "inviting strangers over for dinner" type. The people who say this have never seen a wrestling match between an 8 year old and a 17 year old. I really should charge admission rather than invite people over for free dinner, it's that entertaining (to those who aren't parentally responsible for aforementioned 8 and 17 year old).
It amazes me that a 17 year old can lower herself to the level of an 8 year old (or lower even, because his age automatically drops during these battles of will as well) but the 8 year old never appears to come up to her level. Which probably is not a good thing to wish for anyway.
17 year old was used to being the Princess... the one and only Granddaughter, Niece, baby among any of my friends. And she loved it.
8 year old was also treated like an only child. Mama was home all day. Princess was at school. They are both, shall we call it, "entitled". To what, I have no idea...but they both want it badly.
If she were 20 when he were born, I am almost positive it would probably still be thusly.
BUT, and this is a big but because I fear the jinx, for some reason... all is well and they are cuddling on the couch watching "The Astronaut Farmer" (why would some one desire to watch a movie so badly titled?). And lo, I am grateful. And there is much rejoicing.