Quarantine Gave my Kids Each Other

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My middle and youngest child are just over 3 and a half years, and 4 grades, apart. One just finished 2K, the other just finished first grade. Basically, they are siblings, but they are in different worlds. My daughter is learning her colors and how to count to 20 (she’s got through ten!). My son reads at a 5th grade level and is learning how to tell time and use money, how to do fractions and all that other “real school” stuff.

For context, I have a sister who is 19 months younger than me and twin siblings who are 5 years younger than me. Yes, I’ve always loved all my siblings, and get along with them {for the most part} today, but growing up, those siblings that are 5 years younger than me were barely on my radar. When I went to college, they started 7th grade. That is a HUGE difference. My sister will try to tell me stories of her childhood and often she starts with, “Remember {insert name of friend here},” and the answer is always no. Nope. Sorry. I honestly have no recollection of the vast majority of your friends.

And basically that’s how I thought my kids would be. They would love each other. And interact as siblings do after school and on weekends. But I didn’t expect a true friendship until later in their lives.

And then quarantine happened.

And all of a sudden they were each other’s ONLY friend. And if they wanted to play with someone, anyone, it was going to have to be each other. And they have thrived. My older son has taught my daughter all about Pokemon. And they play as the various types of Pokemon and Pokemon trainers. My daughter has re-introduced my son to Octonauts (her favorite), so they often play like they are rescuing sea creatures.

siblings hugging

Is it perfect sunshine and rainbows all the time? Of course not. They fight. And scream. And egg each other on. And push each other’s buttons.

But when school and after school activities went away. And playdates and sleepovers went away. And church went away. And then camps this summer went away. And all they had left was their siblings, they bonded in a way I couldn’t have imagined without this quarantine time.

Look, I’ll be totally honest with you. The strict quarantine was hard. Really hard. Online school almost killed me some days. The art projects my daughter’s preschool sent home rarely got done. My oldest son has special needs and this whole situation failed him in so many ways.

But I was thinking about how I wanted to remember this weird time in my life. What I wanted to get out of it. And if NOTHING comes out of it other than my kids’ bond, I’m good with that. Because I know having a sibling in your corner is the best.

singlings

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Crady
Crady is a native Memphian, but she left for twelve years only to return at the end of June 2016. She is wife to Brad, who is a pediatrician in the ER at LeBonheur. Together, they have three children: Cooper (August 2010), Semmes (March 2013), and Katherine Cobb (September 2016). Cooper has special needs, so she is constantly balancing being a special needs mom and a typical mom. She lives with her family in High Point, where she spends her days wrangling children and trying to limit screen time. She loves vacations, book clubs, dinners with friends, and a hoppy IPA at the end of the day. She hates kids’ TV shows, people who park in handicap spots when they aren’t handicapped, and tomatoes.

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