It happened subtlety, almost unnoticeable to someone that sees them both day in and day out. But, I picked up on it just as quick as most other mothers would have. At first it was the picking up of a dropped bottle or a gentle pat on the leg when the little one was crying. This was followed by a set of hands and knees crawling fiercely across the carpet in pursuit of a bigger, two-legged version of himself.
The formation of a brotherhood.
From the moment I found out I was expecting a second son, the comments came, “It’ll be nice for him to have a little brother,” or “Two sons is a great combination.” My mind would flash to a sign on my husband’s step mom’s wall that read, “There is a special place in Heaven for a mother of two sons.”
Then it’d flash to her two sons, who are very close. Then to my husband and his brother, who are so very different and not so close. To my aunt Karen and her two sons, who are also very close. To my dad and his only brother, who were bookended between six sisters, and also were not very close.
What would my sons’ relationship be?
Now, nearly 3 years after boy #2 came into the world, I can see it so clearly. They fight over toys and what cartoon to watch on Netflix, but the bond that they share melts my heart into putty. Big looks out for little like something fierce; anytime little gets a scolding, big tells me and my husband to “leave my little brother alone.” Even though little is hell on wheels and usually needs to be put in timeout or a correction in his behavior, the protectiveness and love big has for his brother is exactly what I had hoped for when he became a big brother.
The love between them is contagious.
Just the other day as we were on the way to drop little off at grandma’s for the night, we rounded the corner to her house and his brother said to him, “Goodbye brother, I’m going to miss you!” I watched in the rearview mirror as they touched hands and little said, “I’m going to miss you too!” This was the kind of moment all parents pray for amongst their children, and here I was being lucky enough to witness it. After that they told each other they loved one another and again….putty.
Even when I’m gone they will have each other.
I hope to live a long and fruitful life, to watch my skin wrinkle and my babies grow up into bright young men and have families of their own someday. I want to hold my grandbabies and see my boys become fathers, however that may look for them. Even with that in mind, I have a calmness in my soul that wasn’t there before I had multiple children. A sense of peace that exists in the knowledge that should I die tomorrow, they will have each other.
They will fight with each other. They will rally for the other. They will compete with each other. They will annoy each other too. But, they will always, ALWAYS have each other to lean on.
Having a brother at your back is not something everyone gets to experience. But for these boys of mine, it makes anything possible.
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