The following is an excerpt from my story, “Brotherly Love,” in the book,
The Unofficial Guide to Surviving Life With Boys: Hilarious & Heartwarming Stories About Raising Boys From The Boymom Squad, edited by Tiffany O’Connor and Lyndee Brown of #Lifewithboys.
My youngest considers his brother the sun, the moon, the stars and the whole massive universe all wrapped up in a four-year-old body. He embodies all the hopes, challenges and dreams a little toddler could want. I love the sounds of pitter pattering feet and giggles as my little one chases his brother around our kitchen. If my oldest is climbing up on top of his bed and leaping on a pile of pillows on the floor below, you can bet my youngest will attempt the same, limited only by his stature and strength. No ladder is too high, no slide is too steep. If big brother can do it, little brother will want to do it too. Even if it means scaring me in the process.
I am the middle child. I know a little something about sibling relationships. I have an older brother and a younger sister. My sister and I were always grouped together. We were the “girls.” There were many days when I couldn’t stand her and actively tried to get rid of her. She says I once tried to bury her in a pile of stuffed animals (can’t confirm). She also likes to remind people I sent her flying out of a shopping cart (that really did happen). I wasn’t always a good big sister. I was downright abusive. I’d push her, shove her and even throw her. Yet, she kept coming back. I was her big sister.
I cannot speak for all sisters, and I know the connection between female siblings is special. My sister and I are close, and even though I once wished her back inside my mother’s womb, I couldn’t imagine my life without her. I understand some sisters speak every day, while others are estranged. I know this is also true for male siblings. But, after observing my kids for nearly two years, I learned the bond between boys is forged with the greatest of strength. Even at their tender ages, I have little doubt these two will do anything for each other. Brothers are the ultimate in the fierce loyalty found in male friendship. This unity is sealed with blood.
My boys’ relationship is far from all sweetness and love. For a short while, I foolishly broke up every fight. I would remove my oldest sitting on top of his little brother, only to turn my back and find the baby with his big brother in a sleeper hold. Then, I realized, that’s what boys do. They rough house, horseplay, wrestle, or whatever you want to call it. They are in constant contact with one another. Ever see two puppies at play? The pulling, the tugging, and yes, even nipping, are all things I’ve witnessed with my children. They play hard, and there are many times when they cross the line between fun and dangerous. Because of this, I’ve adopted the mantra, “Just don’t kill each other.”
For every push, shove and tackle, there are kisses, hand-holding and head strokes. I cherish the tenderness of my oldest gently encouraging his little brother to walk down the stairs, or of my youngest calling for his big brother the moment his eyes widen in the morning. I hope the devotion and admiration they have for one another will carry them well into adulthood.
If you enjoyed this story, you will love the words of the many brilliant writers featured in this book. You can purchase a copy through the link below. (Affiliate link: I get a small percentage from purchases made through this website).
You can also join me and a few of my fellow boy mom bloggers at a book signing event on Sunday, November 5 in Brooklyn, N.Y. Tickets and information can be found here.