my boys have slept together for 6 years now. from the moment my youngest was born he slept with me. our oldest hated being left out of the bed so he joined us too. about 2 1/2 years later i was nite weaning my youngest and decided i needed my bed back b/c it was getting quite crowded so i put the boys in bed together. that worked out nicely.
but in the back of mind i wondered what would happen when the oldest wanted to sleep alone. he is 4 years older and i figured it would happen eventually.....and i worried about how the youngest would handle it.
then one labor day weekend they decided they wanted to actually sleep in separate beds and they did! they still shared a room and that was good enough. well somehow they ended up in the same bed again....but lately the oldest was starting to complain about the bed being too crowded....and we were trying to convince my youngest to move back into his own bed.
then i started to wonder what would happen when the oldest wanted his own room! he is 10 now so its likely to happen soon....and again i worried about how the youngest would handle it.
well - last nite out of the blue - the youngest decided he wanted his own room!!! so we spent last nite rearranging furniture, bringing over posters and stuffed animals and both boys slept in their own beds - in their own rooms!!!
so many times in my parenting life i've struggled with wanting to desperately trust my instincts while fighting with what my mind (and others) told me i should do. it takes a lot of courage for a parent to put their full faith in a child and to trust in the process of human growth and development. so often we are told that our children must act a certain way or reach a certain milestone at whatever particular age and if they don't then there is a problem. i've seen many parents struggle with feeling the need to make their child conform to the "expected" standard and the unhappiness and frustration both parties feel. i'll admit i really wondered if i was doing the right thing by letting the boys share a bed for so long. it wasn't b/c of it being weird (and you can guess that many people do think it is weird) - but b/c i was really worried about how youngest would feel about being kicked out if he wasn't ready! i was also afraid of poo-pooing my oldest's desire to have his own space in my attempt to cushion the blow to my youngest. but when i would get worried about it i would take a deep breathe and just believe that it will all work out when the time is right. and i'm so glad it did.
last nite was beautiful really. while i was reading to my youngest - the oldest came bouncing in and out of the room - obviously very nervous about actually being alone for the first time and when the time came to turn out the lights - my oldest reached over and gave his younger brother a big bear hug.
as with any sibling relationship there is fighting and picking on each other - and lately it feels like that is all the boys do to each other......but after last nite - i am convinced - that no matter what they are truly devoted to each other and that they will always be there for each other.