The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Monday, December 22, 2008


When There is a Big Gap in Your Children's Ages

The gap between my children has never seemed as large as it does now. I intended to have them three years apart, but infertility interrupted my plans and my son, George, came along nine years after his sister, Venny. 

Their age difference made family outings and vacations a challenge – where to go and once there, what activities if any would interest both a two-year old and an eleven-year old? 

My husband and I spent our leisure time separated while he rode the roller coasters with our daughter and I spent hours watching our son spin the steering wheel of the blue kiddy car as it circled the oblong track. 

By the time George turned six and Venny fifteen, we enjoyed a few years when their interests merged and we spent more time together surfing on boogie boards, fishing, soaking in hot springs, and riding moderate sized roller coasters decorated with tiger facades.

Now my daughter is nineteen and my son ten. A few months short of completing her second year of community college, Venny took scissors and cut her long hair exposing the nap of her neck and shaping her hair so that it tapers downward toward her chin. She wears her boyfriend’s charcoal gray cargo pants more often than the floral-print blouses and skirts I’ve bought her. As expected, she plans to transfer to art college and hopes to move out of our home, leaving me suffering from empty nest syndrome.

Something’s not right, and the gap between my children is the source of the imbalance. 

I knew I’d suffered the emotional distress of having my children leave home, and I was ready because their exodus brings rewards: walking through my house naked ‘til noon; Friday night dates and maybe we’ll stay in San Francisco; trips to Cancun and Hawaii and Paris; restoring that selflessness that we surrendered when we had children. 

But we have another child who will live with us nine or ten more years. No extravagant spontaneous weekend jaunts for me. And really, that’s OK. My son makes me laugh and I look forward to his sharing his sense of humor with me daily for another decade. Prior to my daughter initiating her independence, I thought his staying would buffer me from some of the loss a mom experiences when her child leaves. 

But the gap in their ages made the experience more bitter than sweet – realizing all the family moments we could not and will not share together. I discovered how different the interests of a young adult are relative to those of a ten-year old. They have about as much in common as a teenager does to a toddler. 

Still, I tell her she is welcomed to join us on our family vacations. 

I'm thankful that she says she will. 

By Patricia Ljutic

Labels: , , ,

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble This Post Add to Technorati Favorites

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?