Chalk and Cheese

I’m taking some time offline over the next week or so, but to keep things busy on here I’ve invited some of my favourite blogging friends to write guest posts for me. Today’s is from Anya, who blogs as Older Single Mum and also as The Healer. You can say hello to her on Twitter here.

Older Single Mum

This is Aiden, a few weeks short of his fourth Birthday.  He’s a consummate comedian and puts the manic into maniac.

It struck me recently that he’s the same age his brother was when he came along and I can’t believe how different they are.

This one is a shock on so many levels.  I was 45 when I had him (after three miscarriages altogether, but ‘only’ the one between the two of them), within a marriage was that well past the rocky stage. I’d actually begun divorce proceedings after a first and last ‘fling’ with my husband in a while before discovering I was even carrying him, plus his whole personality is like that of someone who waited twenty years to get here – which he might have – and all his excitement is coming out at once.  All. The. Time.

‘Exuberant,’ we could call it and keeping him alive is a daily challenge.

Older Single Mum

The first one, though, Robson, is a bookworm.  He finds his little brother ‘quite annoying’ and misses the time we shared together, just the two of us.  Not just since we booted out his dad when I was around six months pregnant, but before that, too, while his father worked away most of the time.

He remembers us enjoying a bath together every evening. (I think I’ve done that once only with Aiden in his life). He is now reading books to me that we used to share in peace in bed every single morning.  There is precious little peace now and lamentably less time together, just him and me, with me being a single parent and I ache to give him more sometimes.

He’s the one who insists upon red pesto on his spaghetti, while the other one has to have green. He loves cricket, while his more active sibling may as well have been born with a football attached to his limb. And he’ll sit happily staring at a screen, listening to music, easily memorising the exact length of each and every track and the order they’re in, all of which he’ll eagerly share with anyone who’ll listen, particularly if it’s the Bee Gees or Barry White.

I know. I am a terrible mother. At least our Foreign Language students can be relied upon to bring his artistic tastes into the 21st Century!

He seemed so big when the baby came, whereas Aiden seems comparatively small at the same age – even though he is actually quite a bit larger than Robson was. I realise I’ve leaned on him more than I ever would his little brother now and it often makes me wonder what life is all about – probably more often than is healthy – because, before each of them came, I could ‘see’ them, individually, in my mind’s eye – consistently – for a good few years ahead.

Also, once, I had a dream – that I was lying on a lounger in the sun and three very young boys came along. The first one quietly stayed next to me, the second had a brief look and  hardly engaged before moving on, while the third one breezed in, then contentedly just plonked himself down with us.

This is exactly what they’re like now, my two boys (not forgetting the one in the middle who didn’t stay) and it feeds my curiosity. Robson always stays close to me, even on my lap if he’s feeling insecure somewhere new. The younger one wouldn’t dream of that – he’d be off investigating – the far more sociable soul. And I have heard it said by some people that you choose your parents!

I know. It’s not always good to hear! Just saying…

It’s interesting though, that I was sunbathing alone in that dream and here we all are – just as we were there – the three of us.

They keep me on my toes, it must be said, and I can vouch for that expression about one child making you into a parent, but the second making you into a referee!

So what do you think?  Are your children like chalk and cheese?  Did you ever have a ‘feeling’ about them, a ‘vision’ or an experience like this?

16 responses

  1. Different question, why do we / should we expect them to be the same? Look at your siblings, how different you are to them. Life would be boring if we were all alike. Make the most of them ere they leave?

  2. There is so much I love about this post. It’s good to have such varied personalities within a family, keeps us on our toes!
    When I was pregnant with Z, I had a dream about carrying a baby boy home in his car seat.
    With both of my miscarriages, I dreamt of blood and loss for a couple of weeks before a scan confirmed it to be true.

  3. I knew, just knew, about a week before my son’s birth, that I was going to have him on the Saturday. So much so that when my mother in law told me on the Saturday morning that I had at least another week to go, I was puzzled, rather than downhearted or annoyed (she’s never really been one to offer comfort!). I was lying on the sofa at 7.30pm wondering if my feeling had been completely off, as there wasn’t much time left for him to come on the Saturday. And then suddenly it all kicked off. I just knew he would be coming that day, and we’ve been very close ever since.

  4. I love this post Anya and can relate to it so much. I feel like my relationship with my eldest child is different to that of my twins. Perhaps it was because he was ill for so long, or just that we shared so much time alone together. It’s been hard to have to watch adapt to his younger brother and sister – one who is quiet but bashes everything and the other who is very much a sociable little thing. Somehow though, they all gel together.

    When I was pregnant with my twins and went for the scan, I knew before she even said the words that I had two precious lives in there.

  5. Oh this post has given me goosebumps. Anya it is THE most beautiful post you have ever written. Please sir can I have some more. 😉
    I can see my girl all of the time; just want to know when she’s arriving 😉

    I can so so so relate to what you are saying.

    Lots of love honey,
    Liska xx
    P.S. I did a G+ hangout today (by myself) all about “knowing” things

  6. Love your post Anya – and it really made me smile, as I have met both your boys, and they are so lovely and brilliant in very different ways. I actually thought that Robson had quite a similar energy to Little A actually – she is such a book worm too. And I don’t think I’ve EVER met a child with the energy levels of Aiden – He’s an Aries isn’t he, I think that’s part of the answer. I also just loved that dream you had – how totally and utterly accurate regarding the personalities of both your boys! X.

  7. Touching post Anya,
    One which I feel like reading over and over.
    It sounds like your marriage and subsequent divorce have been hard on you.
    But, these two bright shining lights came your way, thankfully.

  8. This is a lovely touching post! My children are pretty different so far, I have a quite typically sweet caring girl followed by a tantruming disobedient boy, but I’ll give him a chance – he’s only 2! I myself come from a family of 5 siblings. We are all very different to the point where we still argue and misunderstand each other, but that’s also what keeps us close.

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