My younger son recently had his kindergarten screening. My husband and I are both the oldest in our families, and of course, our first-born son is the oldest here. So, as my sister-in-law put it, my younger son is the only younger sibling in a house full of first borns. I didn’t really think about this as a perk until kindergarten was on the horizon. All I can say is wow…it’s way easier to be a younger sibling when it comes to life events!
For a long time, I had “first-born guilt” for my poor second kid. After all, with two kids of the same gender, literally everything he has is used. All hand-me-downs. He inherited toys with missing parts and clothes he didn’t necessarily like. Most of his “firsts” were met with tempered excitement. We were happy when he started walking, of course, but it wasn’t quite the fanfare that it was with the first. He has only ever had 50% of my attention, while my first son had 100% for the first two years of his life. He’s done far fewer “mommy-and-me” classes simply because I couldn’t leave my then three year old unsupervised while I took my then one year old to a baby music class. I know this is just kind of the way it is for non-firstborn children, but I felt bad about it.
Enter starting “real school”. No more guilt!
My son ran into school for his screening like he owned the place. He already knows the teachers, office staff, principal, etc. He can navigate the hallways. He’s eaten lunch in the school cafeteria, and in fact, requested to eat there with his brother for his 5th birthday (which we did). He’s seen the work my older son brings home from school and knows what to expect. He’s gone to dozens of school events and is comfortable there. Not only is he not nervous about starting kindergarten, he’s beyond excited to finally have his “turn” and no longer be called “the baby”. It’s a very different experience from when my first was teeing up to enter public school. He’s excited and ready, so I’m excited and ready.
So while there are definite perks to being the firstborn, I’m starting to see that maybe the younger siblings are the true winners here! It’s good to be #2, and also…yay for free school for everyone this fall!