When we found out we were expecting our second child when our first child was still a baby, we were surprised. I mean, I know how babies are made and we weren’t using any kind of contraception, but since it took a year and a half to get pregnant the first time, we were a little shocked. But those two little pink lines were unmistakably clear. We were going to have kids 18 months apart.
The hardest part was the beginning. Nursing a newborn takes a lot of time, and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with my son while I was feeding my daughter. I also wanted to make sure I was still reading to him and playing with him and doing activities that challenged him and helped him learn. But to be honest, I was exhausted during the day from being up all night with my daughter. I couldn’t leave my baby girl alone because my son would try and give her kisses and smother her or bring her toys and put them on her face. I felt like I didn’t have any time to shower or exercise or even go to the bathroom by myself because I had these two tiny people who constantly needed my attention and couldn’t do anything for themselves.
As they got older, I started figuring things out. My daughter started sleeping through the night, my son started becoming more independent, and I figured out that if by showering at night I could feel a little more put-together during the day. The love my son had for his sister was not lost on her, and she started looking at him like he was the funniest, coolest kid in the whole world. They each had a built-in best friend and they were learning to help each other and occupy each other. I was witnessing an incredibly special and unique bond form right before my eyes.
Now my kids are five and three, and they are still best friends. They play together, they like the same things, they share a bedroom, and when they’re apart, they always talk about the other. Sure, things aren’t perfect and sometimes they steal each other’s toys or hit each other, but for the most part, they get along better than I could have imagined.
In the last three years they’ve often been mistaken for twins because they’re so close, even though my son is several inches taller than my daughter. Sometimes I correct people, and sometimes I let it slide. They are Luke and Leia, Lightning and Cruz, Moana and Maui. They are best friends in the deepest, truest form, and every day I am glad for those two pink lines that confirmed we would have kids 18 months apart.
Maybe in ten years when they’re teenagers I’ll be writing a post about why I’m not glad that they’re 18 months apart, but for now, I’m going to enjoy how they are now. Brother and sister, playmates, partners in crime, and best, best friends.