Ten and Two

Tenandtwo My oldest and my youngest.

They are separated in age by nearly eight years, though they are just as equally separated by two starkly different personalities:

He’s a ten-year-old boy–brainy and thoughtful and desirous of logic from everyone around him.

She’s a two-year-old girl–vocal and dramatic and craving of noise and spontaneity.

He reasons.

She squeals.

He thinks.

She runs.

He loves books.

She loves princesses.

They are just about as mis-matched a pair as they could be. 

And yet I watch them, my oldest and my youngest, and I see the seeds of a unlikely friendship that will, God willing, survive long after I’m gone. 

She loudly and clumsily climbs up in the armchair next to him while he watches his big kid shows.  He grumbles at the intrusion.  And yet I see his lanky arm intuitively lift up, and then set down gently around her pudgy shoulders.

She darts off ahead of us down the sidewalk, squealing and dancing.  He rolls his eyes.  But he’s the first to take off after her, instintively grabbing her hand.  She lets him. 

I suspect that there will be some bumps in their path as they navigate the coming years.  They’ll never be in the same life phase, at least not until they’re both adults, and there will likely be plenty of bouts of misunderstanding.

But I also suspect they will learn from each other.

She’ll keep him from taking the world too seriously.

He’ll keep her from jumping off too high a figurative (or literal) ledge.

It’s a good thing those two have going, my oldest and my youngest.

And I’ve got the best seat in the house.


65 thoughts on “Ten and Two

  1. Rebekah says:

    My oldest brother is 8 years older than I am, and while we were never the kind of friends who did things together on purpose, whenever we did we had fun. I remember when I was 20, a year after I had broken up with a guy I was dating (for the second time) hearing that when I had decided to give it another go, my brother had “a talk” with him. I can also remember being in college and him giving me a little cash here and there, and generally making sure I was OK, while our parents were living on the other side of the world. Now I am pregnant with my first child, and he is still telling me what to expect, but we have a different friendship than we ever had before, being the same place in life (they just had their third daughter in August)

  2. Just Beachy says:

    Very nice. Mine are the same except Sister is 14 and Brother is six, but they have the same personalities. Sister wise and serious, Brother fun and craving of the noise.

  3. Tara says:

    At my house oldest is 7 and youngest i 8 months old. I can see the possibility of them becomming great friends. Oldest already piles (literally!) pillows behind baby Sister when she’s wobbly making attempts at sitting up. He gives her “crab rides” across the living room floor on his lap. I’m feelnig a blog post coming on. I’ll link to your inspiring post, K? πŸ™‚

  4. Ericka Wagner says:

    That is VERY sweet and makes me cry that my guys don’t get ‘it’. Everyone keeps tellin me it will when they’re older, but it sure is hard NOW πŸ™‚
    Glad you had FUN weekend with the girls! Your writings were hysterical!

  5. Tricia says:

    My oldest and my youngest are 8 and 1/2 years apart.
    They sound very much like yours. Hold onto your hat. Once he reaches the teen years it might get bumpy.
    I’m holding onto those moments when they were younger and acted like they liked each other.
    And praying that that day returns…soon!

  6. seized by hope says:

    Great post. Loved the picture. My oldest and youngest are separated by 17 years, and my son falls right in the middle of my 4 girls. I enjoyed the picture your words painted so clearly of the difference between your boy and your girl here. Thanks!

  7. Deborah says:

    my bro and i are just 4 years apart, but i can tell you the blessing of having a sibling whom u can rely on and you know will support and love you is priceless. I pray your kids will have that. πŸ™‚

  8. Dana says:

    That is a very sweet post. So well written. Also, loved the effect you did on that picture…with the cartoon-like image.
    My son is an only child so I hate that he won’t get to experience the joys/sorrows of having a sibling.

  9. Molly says:

    Aaw, what a sweet post! I am the only girl and the youngest in my family and have always thought that every girl needs a big brother! I have great memories of my oldest brother (9 years difference)…I worshipped him! Even when reality hit and I knew he was no longer perfect, we still had a special relationship. Thanks for that tribute to your kids…it brought back some sweet memories. I hope our 3 girls have this sweet relationship with their baby brother on the way! πŸ™‚

  10. witchypoo says:

    My two boys are 11 years apart. My tender moments? Hauling the elder off the younger while he farted in his face.
    I think he may have been kinder if it was a girl and he didn’t feel he had to toughen him up. That’s my story, and I’m sticking with it.

  11. cindy says:

    Very sweet post. My oldest can be just as protective and loving of his younger siblings when he wants to. I treasure these days.

  12. Amy @ By His Grace says:

    I have a brother who is 19 years younger than I (he is 11 and I am almost 30). I can’t begin to tell you what a special relationship that we have. God blesses us in so many ways and I have truly been blessed to have James as my brother.

  13. jj says:

    What a beautiful observation of your children!!! I also have an older boy and a younger girl who have the same kind of relationship but it took your observation for me to appreciate it. sniff sniff

  14. Misty Dawn says:

    This is an absolutely fabulous post! In fact, I’ve got tears in my eyes, and I’m going to stumble this post right now! This is beautiful… thank you!

  15. Joy of course says:

    Oh we have this too. Between my oldest and my youngest. Different, but the same. And you have articulated it beautifully in a way that made me stop and revel in it. Lovely post Shannon.

  16. Mindy says:

    What a beautiful post. If my husband and I had a second child that would be the age difference. I would hope that my oldest would step up to the plate like that too.

  17. Gego says:

    They so compliment each other, Shannon. He, with all his logical and fact based intelligence and she, with her tenacious joie de vivre and delight in little details have much to teach each other. Little Miss Corrie will hold her own with the rough and tumble personality of another brother. She will always have a defender in the other brother (unless he is trying to get her into trouble).
    Adam and Corrie are meant to be connected. They compliment each other. Just like their parents. Love and hugs to all, Gego

  18. peppylady says:

    My boys are different in so many ways but there 2 and 1/2 years different in ages when they where young they fought and fought but now they are best of friends.
    My hubby is the oldest of six children and I can see some family traits among them but yet I can see individual traits

  19. edj says:

    My oldest brother is 9 1/2 years older than I am, and in some ways, we couldn’t be more different. Yet we’re good friends, closer to each other than to our other brother.
    Great post. And I love that illustration!

  20. Lisa says:

    My hubby (the baby of four) is nine years younger than his oldest sister. They’re still best friends, the closest of the four siblings. And theirs is the least dysfunctional familiy I know. Just don’t take those two on vacation — they get to talking, and they walk faster than anyone!
    Thanks for the lovely glimpse into your family.

  21. rebekah says:

    One of my brothers and I had a special relationship. I see that in my 2nd and 3rd children. He is 8 years older than her and they have a special bond.
    I love what you did with the picture

  22. Stephanie says:

    I read this too early in the morning and I didn’t have my tough girl face on yet. I cried first thing in the morning! And now I need to call my brother when really I need to be getting ready for work! My brother and I are both in our thirties now, but he’s still talking me out of flights of fancy, and still calling me when he needs a little un-reality check. It’s a great balance–plus we have the same mom (and dad) so we know where all the buttons were installed, and we can avoid or push when needed. I have my best girlfriend, who’ll tell me that my husband is not a jerk, and my best college friend, who reminds me that we have Big Plans, and my best friend who married me, but really, at the bottom of it all is my first friend, my brother.

  23. Kathy says:

    This is so reminiscent of my children.
    My boy 8 is only 18 months older yet so much more serious. My daughter is fun, loud, carefree! Just what the doctor ordered for a kid who has PDD(form of autism). He likes everything just so and follows all rules.From her he’s learning so much! Then there’s my oldest son who is now 17~ what a fine young man he is.I thank God for them all!

  24. Tiff@Three Peas in a Pod says:

    There are ten years difference in my youngest and oldest and 9 years difference in my middle one and oldest one. My oldest mothers my young ones as if they were her own and helps me very willingly. Great post!!

  25. Bohgirl says:

    My son is 8 now and I worry about having more kids, now that I’m in a solid relationship. I didn’t really think about it when I was single, but now it’s on my mind more. That pic you have is how I hope it would be πŸ™‚

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