Thursday, March 3, 2011

Born to Friends

I was talking to a co-worker this morning about what it's like to have two kids. I remember so well all the fears I had about the extra time, extra demands, extra money, extra TIME, extra everything a second child would need. I wondered if I had enough extra to give, if we could be as good a parents to two as we try to be to Landon, and if I would ever secretly long for my days when I was mom to only one and I could give that one everything I had.

To put it mildly, I need not have worried. Claire has been a dream of a baby (though the poor thing still has terrible allergies and still can't tolerate milk or soy proteins at all), and Landon, mellow, loving kid that he is, adapted immediately to having a little sister around. And it turns out, that once you've changed your life to go from "single" to "couple" to "family with a baby," going to "family with two kids" isn't much of a change at all. The biggest adjustments- the seismic shift that happens when you realize you can no longer do whatever you want whenever you want to do it, and that you are totally responsible for the care of a small, initially helpless, and sometimes unreasonable human being - those adjustments are made. We are a family with young children now and our life looks very different than it did pre-kids, and we've discovered we like it that way. And sure it's now a little more work to get out the door in the morning, and JP and I can't tag team the way we used to, but overall, throwing Claire in the mix hasn't had nearly the draining effects I imagined.

And it's had one effect I didn't anticipate at all. Watching Landon and Claire together is just the most wonderful, gratifying thing. They play together- really play, and each is made happier by the presence of the other. There's simply nothing like watching the two children you made, whom you love with all you have, love each other.

Certain things are easier on a practical level too. Landon is Claire's source of non-stop entertainment. When Landon was a baby, I remember constantly feeling pressured to entertain him, because really, when left to their own devices, adults are pretty boring. A 3 1/2 year old is never boring- at least not to a baby who is pretty sure her big brother might be some kind of super hero.

I drove the kids to Houston this past weekend (JP drove over later and then took them back Sunday night while I stayed over to work out of our Houston office on Monday). Claire woke up from her nap about halfway through, quite irritated about being in her car seat and not on the floor crawling or in my lap drinking a bottle. Landon, without any prompting from me, jumped into action, playing peekaboo with her from around the wings of his car seat, and reading her books and singing songs. It was awesome, and I had the biggest smile on my face while listening to them and driving east on I-10.

Sunday morning: Claire spies her big brother

He makes a hat adjustment

Claire rejects his fashion advice

They engage in their trademark head bump move; giggles ensue.

These pictures made me think of a quote I read once and just re-found:

I, who have no sisters or brothers, look with some degree of innocent envy on those who may be said to be born to friends. ~James Boswell

There may well be a period in their lives where they forget they were born to friends, but their lives will always be a special part of the other's. And it is a joy I never anticipated to watch.


  1. Love love love the pic of her in the dump truck! And your quote about siblings is so true--my siblings are part of my sense of self.

  2. "Born to friends"- how true! As an only child, I especially agree with the feeling of this post and the quote you've included. While I feel quite well adjusted generally as an adult, the one thing I feel sad about is not having anyone with whom I have a shared history of childhood, family, growing up, etc. I'm so glad L and C have that!
    Thanks for this post. :)

  3. Everytime I see them together in your pictures, I think two things:
    (1) i have to finish up here at work so I can get home to my 3 little guys and

    (2) HOW is it possible for your in-laws to have bowed out of L and C's little lives at this most magical stage?? I really cannot fathom -- esp. since JP is an only child, right?

  4. You really nailed my thoughts perfectly in this post. My husband and I have a 2-year-old boy and our second boy is arriving April 19th (so they'll be 2 years, 2 months apart). We talked the other night about my husband's concerns about how it will be with two, how he will feel about #2 vs. #1, etc. I told him that I think he will get an absolute KICK out of watching the brotherhood that we're creating for both of our kids. And I just forwarded him your post. Thanks! :)

  5. I have been telling my oldest, who was 3.5 when his brother was born, that they are "brothers for life." I get a little teary eyed when I think about it. I was not close to my siblings when we were younger (all 4 yrs apart) but we are very close now. Its like you said, they might not always love eachother but what they have is so awesome. I've thought about when they are older (much older) and their parents are gone, they will have eachother and that means the world to me.