Two days before my second son’s scheduled induction (eviction) date, I was a swollen, miserable, hormonal mess. My oldest son was about a month shy of being 3 years old, and he was (and still is) beautiful, bright, energetic, and everything I could ever hope for in a son. My heart felt like it would burst at any time with love for him, and I started crying to my husband on this day because I was worried I would not be able to love our second son as much, even though that is exactly what I wanted to do. I knew that other parents seemed to love their children equally, but maybe their first children were not as perfect as my sweet Logan? Plus, I was pretty sure that we were ruining Logan’s life by bringing home a baby brother. Yes, I was very irrational.
Well, two days later when Grayson was born, it just happened automatically. My heart must have doubled in size to make room for him, and it seems crazy now that I was actually worried about such silly things. Grayson makes all of our lives better, especially his big brother Logan’s.
Fast forward about a year and a half later when something else awesome happened. The boys were each 3 1/2 years old and 18 months old, and they started playing together. It was then I started to realize how thankful I am that they have one another. They learn so much from just being brothers, and their entertainment of each other really helps out their parents (at least when we are not refereeing their fights). Here are a few of the reasons I am thankful to be raising siblings (current ages are 5 and 2).
Learning to Share
When we only had one child, the world pretty much revolved around him despite all of the warnings from marriage and parent books. He did not have to share his toys, the iPad, or his parents. Now that there are two, they have been forced to understand that in life you sometimes have to take turns and share (food, toys, AND parents). They may not always like it, but it is better learned now than later.
A Sense of Responsibility
Having a younger sibling can instill a sense of responsibility in the older sibling. My oldest son knows it is his responsibility to look out for his brother when they are together. They may fight and wrestle, but I know Logan is not going to do anything to really hurt Grayson (at least not more than once!). When Grayson gets a little bit older, he will be told the same thing about watching out for his big brother.
More Parent Time
Now that the boys are old enough to play together, I am able to find (a little) more time to get things done around the house, have a conversation with the hubs, or even sit down for two minutes before someone needs a cup of milk or help in the restroom. Seriously, the hard work is starting to pay off!
Those Negotiating Skills
I regularly hear my boys negotiating with each other over toys. Logan will offer Grayson his storm trooper ball in exchange for the Incredible Hulk, and then they will move on to another game. I like to think they will take these skills into their careers later in life.
Safety in Numbers
Having two makes it easier for me to leave them with grandparents, at school, and with babysitters. I rarely got a babysitter when we had just Logan, but now I do not have as much mom guilt about leaving them for short periods of time because they have each other.
Pure Joy (this one is for me)
There is nothing sweeter than hearing their little feet running down the hall together or listening to them talk and giggle when playing in their rooms. I know the way they interact and play together will change over the years, but I pray the time spent together now will be a firm foundation for a strong relationship throughout life.
This Thanksgiving I am thankful that I have the privilege of watching my two boys love each other and become friends. As an adult who was fortunate to have a sibling (my awesome sister Holly), I often think–who in the world understands us better than our siblings? Maybe it is something about growing up in the exact same home environment and enduring awkward years, tough times, and embarrassing moments together. Whatever it is, I am sure glad to have my sister and grateful that my boys have each other.