Starting two journeys at once

Our son, the one for whom this blog was started, is approaching age 5.

As the parent, I often get bogged down in what changes will mean to my life. I think about routines, sleep schedules, day care costs, safety, etc., without giving much regard to what age 5 is going to look like to my son.

He has some big changes coming in his life. In June, he’ll become a big brother. Speaking as a big brother, it’s a big task. Not just the thousands of hours you’ll log as an unpaid babysitting provider, but there’s a lot riding on being a big brother. You’re the de facto peer model. You often set the bar for the expectations of the younger sibling. And when you come out of adolescence and into adulthood, the bond you share with your sibling is greater than just about anything. My brother and I text each other pretty much every single day. At age 5, you don’t worry about that, but becoming a sibling is the beginning of an incredible journey, and it is life changing.

Simultaneously, he starts kindergarten this year. While he’s been attending preschool full-time for almost two years, kindergarten is the first step on the path of education that he’ll have to endure for the next 13 years of his life. 2340 days of his life has already been decided for him. And elementary school is the easiest part.

We’ve been trying more and more to get him involved in the pregnancy. And I think it’s really real to him right now, because he understands there’s a baby in mommy’s belly. He loves talking about her and he’s really excited about meeting her. He’s going to a sibling class at the hospital on Saturday to learn how to take care of his sister.

I know that he doesn’t have to worry about things like finances or sleep or pediatrician appointments, because Mom and Dad will handle all of that. But what a change for such a little person. A lot of responsibility gets put on your back at such a young age. I talk constantly about us millennials become parents. Well Gen Z are becoming siblings. I’m really glad he’s along for the ride. It’s going to be different this time. Not just because it’s our “second kid”, but we have another person taking the journey with us.

I’m excited to see how this goes.

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