I always wished I had a brother. Now, I have three boys. I can see my oldest two really developing a tight relationship for the first time. It’s really nice.
My middle son, Nico, is turning two and is just now starting to really play and have simple conversations. He and Marco, who’s 5, are together for hours each day. In fact, they’re with each other more than anyone else in their lives.Certainly, no relationship’s perfect. Their age difference is still large. At times, they’re both quite selfish, with Marco becoming less so and Nico becoming more so these days. They bicker and push each other around once in a while.
But the most dominant feature of their lives together is their play together. They do it every day. They play chase, they play in the sand box, they ride bikes and cars, they swing, they whack balloons around. They laugh together. When one of them starts laughing, usually the other will erupt a few seconds later.
When they look at their new brother, four month old Leo, I sense that they understand that he will be vitally important in their lives, too. He’s a member of their exclusive club, even though he can’t play with them at all or utter a word.
I think about how my three sons’ relationships will grow as they become teenagers and adults. They’ll ride bikes to school together. They’ll comfort each other when they get jilted by lovers. They’ll be best man at each other’s weddings. They’ll be uncles to each other’s kids. And they’ll hug tearfully as my wife’s and my health declines and we fade away.
I really do think we’ve given them a precious gift by bringing them into the world together and raising them together. They’re buddies for life.