Friday, August 5, 2011

Babies and tweens

My stepson is very graceful. I don’t mean he dances ballet or walks a tightrope. I just mean he takes things in stride better than I’d expect an 11-year-old to do.

He’s at a tough age – beginning to take the tumble into awkward teenage-hood, showing an obvious interest in girls, getting ready for a school year with increased workload in the coming weeks – and I’m always impressed with how well he handles the toll of splitting time between our house and his Mom’s several states away throughout the year. Having divorced parents isn’t easy for any kid, yet he seems to navigate the situation so well. You’ll never hear him say “this is so unfair!” the way I think my 11-year-old self would have done in his shoes.

And then here I am throwing a new baby brother into all that mix. True to form, he seems excited, happy, and not the least bit jealous or resentful that his world will be changing. Last night he came into my room right after I had gotten into bed (he was apparently too excited to wait until the following day) to show me this wonderfully crafty three dimensional paper airplane he’d made. It was hanging from strings. “It’s a mobile for Jacob,” he said. My heart swelled, and I thought: maybe he does walk a tightrope after all.

But what happens when baby Jacob gets here and takes up all the space in the room, the way babies seem to do? What happens when he sees the baby getting all the attention, all the new things? Will the huge age gap between them make things easier or harder? Will he handle this as gracefully as he has everything else?

My head is full of questions. I would love some words of wisdom from anyone who has been in a similar spot. Did you bring a new baby into your tween’s life? How did you help them adjust?

Megan Brooks is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources, Stepmom, and Mom-to-be due in November.

1 comment:

  1. I worried about all those things, too. And you know what? With very few exceptions, our big boys have just soaked up the fun and excitement of Sam ever since his arrival. Your stepson is the same age as my oldest stepson, and he'll be the best help for you! I tried to make sure that the boys got/get special time with their dad, without Sam (and me, even) around. But really, he'll do great. And I think the very fact that you're concerned about these things will make them less of an issue. Being aware goes a LONG way. :)