But even though there are so many similarities between my boys - they have similar birthdays, they both have brown hair, they both play piano, they both display smart ass tendencies - their arrivals and homecomings couldn't have been more different.
- Kid #1 required over two hours of pushing, but Kid #2 was out in about 20 minutes.
- Doug took about a week off from work when Kid #1 was born, but after Kid #2 came home on a Sunday, Doug was back at work on Monday.
- Kid #1 came home from the hospital to a quiet house and a relaxing week without many visitors. Kid #2 came home and within three hours, I was hosting a BBQ for my family so that we could celebrate Zach's second birthday and then, right after that, we hosted a 12-team fantasy football draft.
- Kid #1 had a closet full of new clothes. Kid #2 had a closet full of hand-me-downs.
- Kid #1 didn't have his first babysitter until he was about five months old. Kid #2 had his first babysitter when he was five days old, so that I could mow the lawn.
- Kid #1 had a huge birthday party when he turned one, with tons of food, a keg and dozens of gifts. Kid #2 also had a huge party for his first birthday, at which we also celebrated Kid #1's third birthday. In fact, Kid #2 has yet to have a birthday party that isn't shared.
- Kid #1 was welcomed into the world by a mom, a dad and two dogs. Kid #2 was also welcomed by a mom, a dad and the same two dogs but, in addition, was also welcomed by a great big brother that never had to be told "don't pet the baby so hard, don't touch his eyes, no you can't carry the baby" and "don't feed the baby Goldfish."
Over the years, the boys have chosen to participate in a lot of the same activities, but they have also developed their own personalities and friendships. They no longer share a bedroom, they have different strengths in school and even their tennis games are completely different. One thing that they both were able to enjoy together, though, was welcoming Zoe into our family and becoming big brothers. And even though they play with her differently and one has more patience than the other, they both love her.
So Charlie, I can't believe you're going to be a dozen years old tomorrow. I hope you have a great day and if you're lucky, your little sister will sing to you, refrain from being demanding, and maybe even go an entire day without hitting you in the peanut butter gut.