Yes, it happens. I was in college when it happened to me. My mom and dad conceived and gave birth to my youngest brother. I was 20 years old. Many parents are unsure whether a young adult would bond with a significantly younger sibling. I am here to quail your concerns… We bond easily.
I admit; the public perception and reception was interesting to say the least because strangers assumed that my brother was my child. If I had a quarter for every time I said, “No, he’s not my son he’s my brother” I would be a millionaire. The judgmental, backhanded insult, bless your heart sentiment from elders was the worst; nevertheless, I loved my little brother and shook off the unsolicited opinions of outsiders.
Being away at college, I missed many of my brother’s milestones, however him hearing my voice on the telephone weekly, spring, and winter break made it possible for us to maintain our bond. Additionally, having my youngest brother around gave me more motivation to be the best role model that I could be. At age 20 I was old enough and mature enough to understand the real and practical concept of, “it takes a village to raise a child”, and the notion that it’s important that children see success modeled so they know that it’s attainable for them.
Sure there were distinct differences between my youngest sibling and I; namely in treatment. If there is one common theme among siblings (certainly when there is a 20-year age gap) it is that our parents raised us differently. What happened to the stringent disciplinarians who enforced chores, curfews, and no TV until homework is done? I often shook my head and wondered, “who are these people and what did they do with my parents”. Parenting 20 years after your first child must be taxing.
While in my opinion parents do not parent the same from child to child, I am proud to say that 18 years later my youngest brother is now embarking on college himself and I could not be more proud of him. Though the 20 year age difference we remain loving and supportive siblings.