Whichever one of my kids wakes up first, immediately asks about the other one, anxious for him/her to wake up, too. They do almost everything together. Maybe that’s why Avery knows she is two, but says she’s four. She can ride a scooter as well as Clay. She climbs walls (and mountains!) with no fear. Most of the time we forget they are 23 months apart because they are so close.
My dad was 15 months older than his sister, and they were the best of friends until the day he died. My mother-in-law and her older brother have the same age difference and were inseparable. Seeing them, I thought 15 months would be a good age difference for our kids. Nursing for 13 months made that impossible, but when Clay was 15 months old, I found out I was pregnant with Avery.
Clay was not yet two when she was born, but he adored her. As she grew, his excitement when she reached milestones was comparable to (or maybe even exceeded) ours. “Avery can crawl, mommy!,” he said, pride in his voice. When Clay plays soccer or t-ball, Avery greets him coming off the field with, “Great game. I’m so proud of you, Clay!”
He’s also protective. When a boy pushed Avery at school, Clay told me “I pushed Sanjay, because he pushed Avery.” The responsible parent in me told him, “it’s nice to protect your sister, but next time just tell the teachers,” while I was thinking, “heck yeah, big brother, stand up for your favorite girl!”
I had two strangers come up to me this week, commenting on the kids’ relationship and love for each other, after watching them interact. I’m not saying they are perfect because they are not. They fight over toys and make each other crazy sometimes. But most of the time, they are the older brother and little sister that my dad and his sister, and Chase’s mom and uncle, were. I have the family I always hoped for.
I’m sure they’ll fight more as they grow up, but in a time when preschool teachers tell me Clay needs to work on his listening and Avery still sneaks out of her room at bedtime, it makes me think we’re doing something right. And gives me hope that whatever mistakes we make in parenting along the way, they’ll have each other. Those two will be best friends forever.