As you may know I was in Dallas over the weekend to meet my newest nephew, Paul. Paul is the 4th child in 7 years for my brother and sister in law, and let’s just say its been a wild ride for them. I’m happy to report that it seems like they’ve finally got a rhythm to their family, and this was by far, the smoothest, least chaotic, and most enjoyable trip I’ve ever taken to see them. Ok, lets be clear. There was tons of screaming, jumping, running and excitement, but there was a control to the madness this time around.
I’ve always thought that if parents can stay calm, then kids will feed off their calm energy. Well, I realized this time, if parents are calm, then houseguests will feed off their energy too! Despite being completely outnumbered, the adults were definitely always in control. In prior years, my sister in law was always so frazzled, it was sometimes hard to watch. Bedtime could never come soon enough. This time around, bedtime was still a welcome reprieve, but it was hardly WWIII getting the kids to bed. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the kids being older, but whatever the reason, everything seemed much easier. (Note to mom’s of toddlers: It gets easier!)
One thing I didn’t expect to feel while I was there, was such a strong affinity for my niece Alexandra, who is third of the four. As a third of four child myself, I immediately noticed her desire for approval from her siblings, her admiration for them, and her longing to do what the big kids do, while still trying to establish her own personality. Funny and serious things to say about a 3 year old, but everything she did struck me as so familiar, I couldn’t help but notice.
Of course this got me thinking about birth order in general, and I started looking for parallels between Elsa, the oldest, and my oldest brother, and Eric the second oldest, and my brother John (his dad). It was all a very fascinating experience for me, and I’m sure certain traits will only continue to dominate in each of them as they grow older.
Now I’m sure you’re wondering the age old question, the most predictable one that I get asked the most, “doesn’t being around all these kids make you want to have kids of your own?”. The answer is still a resounding NO! I have 10 nieces and nephews right now, and I’m loving being super Aunt to all of them. They are the joy of my life, and that’s all I need.