6 years apart
Yes, we forgot how to do it, that’s why there’s such a big gap between the brothers...
(Shawn Benjamin)
 If I had chosen, I would have had a second child when my first was about 2. But it was not to be. Years of trying, fertility drugs, acupuncture and strange tinctures had no effect. It came as a surprise when we had long given up on a second and I fell pregnant.

Many people don’t understand how draining and upsetting secondary infertility can be – after all you already have one healthy child, why be greedy? But as a former employer of mine said: “Adele has a second child in her sights, and she won’t settle down until it comes along.”

Turns out she was right. Looking at that second baby I felt my family was complete. And when Miles, then 6, sat in awe holding his new brother, I knew this was the start of something beautiful.

It has been mostly a gift to have siblings far apart. When Miles wanted reading to, Joel was being breastfed. Later Miles would be playing sport, and Joel would toddle around happily on the sidelines. Now that Miles is a teen who goes out, Joel gets time alone with his parents.

The beauty of the big gap has always been that there is very little direct competition – bar the standard argument about who gets the bigger slice of cake/chicken leg/glass of juice. As in most families, there’s hot competition for the front seat, so they’ve resorted to shouting “Shotgun!”

Although they might not have that much in common developmentally, they share a love of soccer and rugby; and they laugh at the same Will Ferrell movies. Hanging out with Miles and his friends has given Joel the confidence to blend in to any new group, while Miles has learnt patience and independence he might never have developed if he had stayed an only. Having a younger sibling at last has freed him from the excessive glare of the parental spotlight .

And as an added advantage, Joel is quite a chick magnet, with the high school girls finding his mini-Miles charm very appealing. 

I can see that having your children close together works in many ways. But this works too. For all of us.

Do you have a large gap between your children?

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The lone rider


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