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'My children are 9 months apart. And people tell me it's impossible.'

We are in that golden period in which my two children are the same digit. For 63 days they share a number. This year it is 6. You see, my children are 9 months and 27 days apart. Every family has its story. That is ours.

It is debatable whether biologically speaking it is possible to have children that close together. I have been told it is both possible and impossible. 

For us, it was the blessing of the adoption of our son, soon followed by another miracle… a pregnancy, which produced our daughter. I was forty-two years young.

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When my children were infants and toddlers, random strangers would often offer unsolicited advice in the grocery store line. I confess to occasionally divulging that my children were less than 10 months apart. Then I would wait as their eyes widened in horror.

“You tell your husband to leave you alone!” …one woman said fiercely.

It gave me a bit of a naughty…ha ha — particularly on those days when I could have used a pep talk while juggling one child in a grocery cart and another in a baby carrier on my chest.

With the news of my pregnancy, I’m not sure if anyone was happier for me than our son’s birth mother. I had been with her on several of her check-ups before our son was born. She and I bonded over the boy yet-to-be. 

I remember watching the ultrasound as we saw our son for the first time. My husband and I so overcome with emotion we couldn’t speak, while our son’s birth mother smiled at us from across the room. A young woman of twenty, who had chosen us by gut instinct and faith to be the parents for her child, our son.

When I told her of my pregnancy, she laughed with surprise and joy. She told me how happy she was that I would get to have the experience of carrying a child. She wanted to share that with me.

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Our miracle daughter surprised us all. I treasured every visit to the doctor for my pregnancy check-ups, the first ultrasound of seeing and hearing her heartbeat for the very first time, and the wonder of my expanding belly.

As pregnancies go, it was relatively easy - other than combating morning sickness while also taking care of an infant. Ready to stake her claim in this world, our daughter finally arrived… ten days late. While I was giving birth, my not yet 10-month-old son had started walking.

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The real challenge came after we came home from the hospital and my husband went back to work. Recovering from the birth, I would try to breastfeed by daughter as my son pinged and ponged between the furniture and the floor.

Pulling my daughter away from my breast to leap up and soothe him every time he crashed into yet another piece of furniture and then racing back to my wailing daughter was painful for all of us.

Yet, despite the bumps and jolts along the way, we are here. The golden overlay period where they are both one digit. This year it is six years old. It is a good life. A time when they entertain and enthral me with tales — both real and imaginary.

Sometimes I watch them from a comfortable distance as they take bold, newly confident steps. A quick kiss and hug goodbye, and they are gone…vanishing into their own emerging lives. Having places to go, they always have much to share upon their return.

Perhaps the greatest gift is their love for each other. Whether it is saving a treat for the other to share later when they are back home together, or a huge hug goodbye where they lift each other off the ground and giggle. It is a sweet fullness that blindsides me.

Having entered motherhood at an elevated age, I find great comfort in their closeness. They will have each other when I am long gone from here. These are the thoughts I have when the house is quiet. As I admire the curl of eyelashes resting on their dewy cheeks while they sleep. 

My children. Who are 9 months and 27 days apart.

This post originally appeared on Medium and has been republished with full permission. You can find more from Jennifer Cowie King on  Medium and Twitter.

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