In 2002, my friend Ash had William on the 1st of Nov, I had Caroline on the 3rd, six weeks later Lizzie (or LizE) had Ellie and Luke, six weeks later Cori had Jonah, six weeks later (or so) Julie had Max, followed by Tracy having Jane that summer. So, each year we try to take pics of the kids all together, in groups. We have all the older kids (pre-2002/3) and the 2 year olds, now we have a new crop coming, with 4 already here.
The newbies, the 2-bies and the oldies.
My mom has said, when you have good friends and they have kids, you love their kids. I have found this is true. When I have playdates with these kids, who I have known since they were born, I find that it is easy to have these kids over. Maybe because I am friends with their moms and we obviously have things in common, or because their children know that their moms are such good friends, they feel more comfortable playing at one another's houses. I think that we have similiar parenting skills, not identical, but similiar. It probably helps that we all have the same belief systems. But mostly I think that you love your friend, you love their child. My children know how much my friends mean to me. My friends know how much my children mean to me, even when I am at my wit's end. Maybe that translates a little into how our children feel about eachother's children and the parents. In any case, when we call get together, big kids, little kids, infants, husbands, I am not stressed. The kids will have fun together. They may have a tussle here or there, but they work it out, and I am not uncomfortable if another parent needs to step in and discipline my child some. I also know that they are all looking out for one another. I know that my friends love my kids. When I am sick, or just had a new child, and someone offers to take my kids for the day, I usually decline. Except with these friends. I know that they can look past the bad, behavior or the state of my house. They will nurture my neglected children, they will love them and make them feel safe. I hope they know that I will do the same for them.
I don't have any sisters. Sisters-in-law (who are all amazing), but no sisters. I think that the relationship I have with each of these women fills that gap for me. Each offers me different things, but they all give me guidance, support, honesty, empathy, history and another adult to love my child.