I didn't imagine having children 3 years apart in age would really cause any competition between them. The only two that are NOT 3 years apart are Chase and Kaelin. They are 2 years and 3 months apart and are probably the closest of the 5 as far as playing together, getting along and trusting each other.
However, having years between them like this did not preclude me from the competition that is sibling rivalry of sorts. I'm not just talking about the sibling fights that go on almost daily, if not. You know the fights over he sat too close to me or she took the remote or he sat in my spot when I went to bathroom. I'm talking about sibling rivalry that doesn't drive mom crazy over the immature rantings, but rather hurts mom's feelings because she can't make them feel better or has to be careful not to fuel it. Had our children been boy, girl, boy, girl, boy or something more random I don't know that we would still have this problem. But, because our first two were boys and our next two were girls there is a sort of comparison between each of those first two sets. This is a lot of the reason that even if we had enough money to support #6, and enough energy, I don't think I would. But, I digress.
Chase is the very popular and athletic younger brother to Cole. I say he's athletic, but Cole's not totally incapable of a lot of the same abilities, but Cole is medically restricted. He has not grown and therefore cannot participate in his second love of basketball. He does not get chosen; the other boys in his class are at least 5-6 inches taller. Cole will one day grow and hit puberty at 14 now. Cole cannot play his #1 love of football because of his heart condition. Chase, on the other hand, can play whatever he wants and the first time he tried football he fell in love. He has no interest in basketball and still chooses football over baseball, so that's what he sticks with. We limit each child to one decided activity after they try whatever they want. Chase ended up being a very natural football player and it absolutely kills Cole. Cole has a great arm, but still cannot play. He never once went to a game for Chase last year. We did not make him because it was the first year he'd just found out he wasn't allowed to play and we wanted him to have some adjustment time.
Chelsi and Kaelin are about as different as night and day for sisters too. Kaelin is athletic and loves to run and play. Chelsi doesn't care to sweat or run much. She likes gymnastics and that's all she's somewhat interested in. Mostly, she's interested because it will help her to be a cheerleader one day. You see, Chelsi is my drama queen. Literally. She's already been in a play and is just dramatic in every way possible. She wants to try out for our county pageant and everything. However, lately I've started to notice that Kaelin is trying for more attention from not only us, but others. She's older than Chelsi and Chelsi is small, so Chelsi gets a lot of attention for being *cute*. No doubt she is, but I've found myself deciding that being in a pageant may not be best. It may cause more of a riff between the girls than I'd ever want. I'll never tell her no to another play if she truly wants to and we can fit it in because it's still an activity. I guess a part of me can't imagine a constant reminder of a little crown in their room if she won a pageant. Kaelin's pretty sensitive.
Jaemin's easy. He's not really in anyone's shadow. He's 9 years younger than his closest brother and there's just no comparing him to anyone. He's his own person and if we didn't remember that on our own, he reminds us daily with his stubborn, independent self while loving everyone at the same time.
Parenting is the most twistedly scary, rewarding balance of a job I've ever had. I'll have to tell the story of the importance of reading your child's Facebook account...daily...soon. ;)