Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I really haven't the slightest idea about what the relationship between brothers is all about.  I'm a girl.  And I can't even speak to the significance of having a sibling of the same gender.  I am the younger sister of two brothers, so my only real example of "brothers" is that between my own (and it's a really good example, by the way). :)  But as a kid, I didn't pay that much attention - I didn't observe and dissect their bond - I was more concerned with the relationship between Barbie and Ken.  Who the heck cared about Legos or Star Wars?

That should make it quite obvious, then, that I don't "get" boy things.  I struggle, more than one person should, when walking down the boy toy aisles at Target.  A little pink amongst the action figures and building blocks would go a long way.  I am much more comfortable with Strawberry Shortcake than I am with GI Joe.  I don't even consider myself a girly girl...I've just never had to pay attention to boy stuff before.

And now here I am, raising two boys.  [Granted, I'm not alone is this task, but I think that we as moms have a tendency to think about these kinds of things more than our male counterparts.]  In the last several months, I have seen the relationship between Drew and Reed begin to blossom.  They are brothers.  They play together, and they yell at each other.  Drew is just as likely to tattle on his brother as he is to encourage him in his endeavors.  Reed can be heard screaming at his brother just as often as he can be heard making him laugh.

Sometimes I sit and watch.  And marvel.  I see their love for one another.  I see their frustration.  I see that they enjoy being together.  I see when it's time for them to have their own space.  I see how glad they are to have each other.  {I see how loud and obnoxious and irritating they can be when they're together - and how likely it will be for them to someday start the house on fire...}

I am struck now by the responsibility to nurture this relationship.  How do I best allow them to grow, as individuals, but also in relationship to one another?  I'm unsure of a magical potion that will ensure that these brothers remain friends.  Certainly they'll fight and yell and say unkind things to one another.  They'll be teenagers, for crying out loud.  I just don't know anything of what can make the bond between brothers so natural and strong.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not an idiot.  I don't want to be so naive to say that they'll be BFFs.  Although that would be great.  And I won't be so delusional as to think that anything that I can do will make them be that way.  They are different ages.  They have different personalities.  They'll have different friends and different interests and different talents.  They're different, and that will most likely lead them in different directions.

My hope, though, is that when they come back together, they'll actually like each other.  And that they'll get along.  And they'll know what it means to be loved by their brother.  They'll disagree, and they'll argue, sure - but I want them to learn how to stand up for the other, to encourage the other, to fight for the other, to protect the other, to serve the other.  I want them to know that when they feel like they don't have anything else, they'll have one another.

Here is what I know I can do:  I will pray for them.  I will be aware of their strengths and their struggles.  I will value their individuality and honor their differences.  I will encourage their independence and allow them to work through their squabbles.  I will teach them forgiveness and how to say "I'm sorry."  I will teach them that their bond with each other is like no other.  I will show them what it means to be a family.  And I will tell them how lucky they are to have one another.

I will encourage them, I will support them, I will love them.

They will always be brothers.

I hope they will always be friends.

1 comment:

  1. Love it---Leslie-you and Brad are doing awesome and the boys are so darn cute! Miss you guys.