A lot of people often ask me how things run in my family having two older teenagers (18 and 16) and two small children (8 and 6). The truth is that I never really have given it a second thought and not something I go around consciously thinking about. There are definite advantages as well as disadvantages to having kids with a 10 year separation.
In the beginning when the older ones were younger it seemed to be much easier. The younger ones were babies and therefore didn't have opinions on where we should go and what we should do. The older ones were much more attentive and loving to the babies. They were at the age where they were capable of helping me out with small tasks around the house like collecting laundry, getting me a baby bottle, and helping me with anything I needed. Of course as they grew up into high school teens that all changed and suddenly they had their own lives.
As you can imagine the desires of teenagers of which restaurant to go to, what movie to see, and what place to visit on vacation can vary dramatically from the desires of young kids. The teens don't necessarily want to go on It's a Small World and the young ones don't want to go on Space Mountain.
A lot of times the young ones act "silly" and the older ones can no longer relate even though they were just as "silly" when they were that age. The older ones don't remember when they begged to go to Chuckie Cheese but they did and can no longer understand the desire of the little ones to go there now.
The older ones are less tolerant now that they are older and "know better." They often ask me "why don't you just punish them when they get loud and scream and run around in a vortex?" I remind them that I did the same with them when they were this age. They don't seem to recall or believe me.
But then there will be the times when we are at my littlest one's t-ball game and his older brothers (who play high school baseball) are cheering for him and offering him hints of advice. Watching this phenomenon in action is indeed a rare scene but when it does happen it makes me feel so good inside. Sure I wish it would happen more often but when it does I relish in it and enjoy it.