I was quite young when I had my children, just 22 when I had Child #1 and at the end of my 23rd year when I had Child #2 so there;s only 21 months between them. In a lot of ways it was hard work, you just get the older one sleeping through the night when along comes another and you start all over again. It’s fabulous when you just get the baby to sleep at 5.30am after his feed and at 6.30 a two-year-old bounces onto your bed announcing to the world ‘Good morning, here I am lets go, let’s go, let’s go!’ Overall, I think we had maybe 4 years of continuous broken night’s sleep but when it ended it ended for good so we got it all over and done with in one go really. The nappies and bottles were continuous too but again when we were finally done it was completely over.
I think the positives outweighed the negatives though. As they got older the same things entertained the two of them so we could go to a show or the cinema and the same production was appealing to them both. They would play together sharing the same toys or making up games and songs. A day at the seaside or fair they liked the same things so me and their dad never had to haul a child each and go off in opposite directions to do things individually. This had a great impact on the kid’s relationship. They were and remain the absolute best of friends and my heart swells to know that not only do they love and respect each other but they actually like each other too! They enjoy each other’s company and go out of their way to spend time together.
Despite all of that they are very different. Child #1 has always been the socialite. We only needed to stand at a bus stop for five minutes and she would have made a best friend. We had an endless supply of friends who would come home from school with her for tea. In the days before seat belts in the back of the car we would play how many 7 year old girls can we fit in the back of a Fiesta, let me tell you, you would be surprised just how many that is. She collects them, once a friend always a friend, she may not see some of them regularly but they remain a part of her life forever, she is a loyal and faithful person who, if needed, will be there at the drop of a hat without question.
We had girly birthday parties for her when she was growing up, there had to be glitter in her life and just for good measure always throw in a bit more. She had her own unique sense of style which has never left her.
She is my beautiful Child #1 whose smile lights up a room and is very much loved by her friends and family.
Child #2 is very different, was always much quieter at school, school for him was academia and studying although he did have numerous friends and still has some from when he was in primary school. I think maybe his sister’s social life was enough chaos for him as he saw no real need to invite his friends over for tea after school. He had birthday parties until aged 7 when he announced that he didn’t want any more as, ‘Your friends come over, break your stuff then go home’. So that was an end to his parties, he was always a big part of his sister’s events so never missed out on a social life.
When he was 18, Child #1 and I convinced him to have a party to celebrate and he reluctantly did so. He had a great night and really enjoyed himself afterwards he said that was it he didn’t want another so he didn’t. We took friends and family out to dinner for his 21st, he had a great night and as it was all about him you can’t ask for more. House parties, that’s a different thing. Getting together with a smaller group for friends and family and he’s in his element, he enjoys the organising as well as the event itself. He too is very loyal to his family and friends. I wonder if the closeness of his and his sisters’ relationship growing up has had an impact on our children as people always come first with them. He’s my beautiful handsome Child #2 who is gentle with the world and the people who live within it.
For us family is everything. It comes first last, and in the middle. When we say family we also meanour close friends, the family that we’ve chosen for ourselves. If someone is in need then we try to help the best we possibly can, and when we ourselves need help, how precious and loved does it make us feel when people are there to support us no matter what. To feel loved is a feeling like no other and a feeling no amount of money can buy.