unexpected bonus

Our living kids have a somewhat untraditional age assortment (15, 13, and 21 months, at this point) and that’s been, really, a good thing so far. The big boys get to see how little people grow up, they get to see Daddy J’s and my early parenting philosophy in action, they get to help out some with childcare, and Rainbow has significantly older big brothers he can really look up to and rely on.

It struck me tonight that an additional good thing about this age span is that my big boys (along with Daddy J and me) get constant reminders about what’s really important. They are in 8th and 9th grades now and school requirements and social entanglements are heavy, and Daddy J and I have career and social stuff of our own.

It’s nice to have this innocent, pure little person in the house who just wants to be made to laugh. He wants to eat things he likes and be around people he trusts. He likes to watch videos where nothing bad happens and where people sing a lot and hug frequently. He enjoys the pets.

Toddlers are perfect anchors to the important stuff: don’t spend time around people who don’t make you feel good, do what you like to do, don’t worry about getting dirty, laugh often, cry freely, kiss everyone you love good night, while feeling no remorse if you don’t feel like kissing somebody.

I am so glad tonight to have this little reminder, in the form of Rainbow, in my life. The daily work of raising a toddler is such a sweet joy for me.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 13:53:19

    I couldn’t agree more! I was just telling someone how the age difference between my older two and toddler is really great for many of these same reasons. I especially love that they get to see how they were parented as babies.

  2. Tracy
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 18:02:27

    I found your blog from the Babble article you wrote. It was so beautifully written that I needed to stop by and read some of your posts.

    This one struck me because we, too, have a toddler and a teenager at home. With all the homework and social expectations that go along with being a teenager, there is something so comforting about having a toddler in our midst – someone who still wants to snuggle and give kisses, someone who is a constant reminder of the good in the world.

    It is so easy to get caught up in the daily “busy-ness” of our lives – work, bills, home repairs, etc. I agree with you, toddlers are the perfect anchors…

    ~ Tracy

  3. Mama Jamz
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 19:58:18

    Hi Tracey. Thanks so much for coming over and checking out my blog. I’m so glad you enjoyed the Babble piece.

    I love how my big boys get to be little boys again at times. They play blocks and pretend wrestle and color with crayons with Rainbow, and I feel like it must be soothing for them. It’s a very tender thing. It’s nice that you are experience this interesting mix of ages, too, with your kids.

    I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family.

  4. Mama Jamz
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 20:05:22

    And hi Jennifer! Sorry I’ve been so remiss in replying. It’s neat, isn’t it, that age spread? I feel like them seeing how they were parenting will make my guys better parents, if they do become parents one day, and it’s nice at any rate to see how their parents take care of babies.

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