My children are 17 months apart. When they were younger, I enjoyed that very much. Their milestones like learning to walk and starting kindergarten came close together. What made one child happy, usually made the other one happy as well.
The job of being a parent of a boy and a parent of a girl were very similar. They both expressed themselves in similar ways. They both needed me in similar ways. What was good for one, was usually good for the other. My job as a parent was easy in that way.
They are teenagers now. My son is a junior in high school and my daughter is a sophomore. What I am finding is that the "one size fits all" parenting of the past no longer works. We have definitely come to a fork in the road in that respect and I am finding that I must now travel two different roads as a parent.
Nothing makes this more apparent than what they share with me about their boyfriend and girlfriend.
My daughter tells me most things. My son, nothing.
My daughter asks my advice. My son does not.
My daughter's boyfriend spends a lot of time at our house. My son's girlfriend, none.
My daughter invites me in with her stories. My son doesn't share.
In such a short period of time, my job as a parent has changed. I must now learn to parent them in completely different ways because they each are asking different things from me.
I'm not sure I like it....