Nineteen months after my daughter was born, our son arrived. He was and still is the short, stubby, little Greek boy with sideburns and hair down his back. He babbled, rolled over, and crawled all in one day, (It seemed.) He was our youngest who began to show us he strived to be oldest. In other words, he will be 69 tomorrow. He was advanced.
Here we are with two kids. In some ways, they are totally opposite. One is delayed and making gains at catching up. One is running for Congress at age four. Sister and Brother are both one of a kind. One looks more like Goldilocks. The other looks a little like Jungle Boy- at least in the summertime. Different are they in so many ways. But yet, the bloodline unites them.
We love them both. They love each other. They share something rare and powerful. It is for the better that they are who they are. Not only for themselves. But also for each other as well.
Sure they fight and tease each other. They do things that any siblings do. Goodness knows I am ready to pull my hair out at times because of it. Just try looking for a bathing suit with these two in tow!Brother is a true boy. Sister is a girly girl. The two can drive each other batty and into screaming fits. Yet, something else more enduring and encouraging exists in this relationship.
If my daughter is ever in a sour mood, there is a questionable time frame as to when it will turn sweet again. My son catches on and instead of fueling the fire, he says “apple”. My daughter immediately replies with “peach”. My son continues with “pear”. My daughter replies with “strawberry.” This is a back and forth banter that relieves and cheers her soul.
If my son is crying and having a fit because his shirt is inside out, ( his “highness” is learning to fix it himself) my daughter comes along, gives him a smooch, and says “It’s alright, now here’s your shirt,” This gives him a burst of laughter or a calm.
There are moments when we have gone different paths for a few hours. Moments when a divide and conquer plan is more effective for errand completion. When the reunion takes place back at home base, there is a calling out of names in sheer joy. There is a running towards each other. There are exclamations of ” It’s you! I’m so glad you are here!” There is embracing.
There are dramatizations of Max and Ruby or Little Bear and Cub. They break into character in a blink. “Max!” shouts my daughter “You have to put your shoes on before you go outside” My son points to the door with his bare feet and says “Outside!” In the bathtub, there’s a huge splash ( among many) . My son says “Hey you scared away my breakfast!” My daughter says “Your breakfast?” The continue into the script of Little Bear meeting Cub.
There’s even something more powerful about this brother and sister relationship. They are good for each other. They are teach each other. My Congressman can hold my daughter’s hand and show her the handshakes and mingle tricks of socialization. He can encourage and nudge her to expand her vocabulary and strengthen her sentence. He will explain and comfort when things are not making sense. He will accept and love despite the “weirdness” displayed that draws a look. My daughter can show my son the wonders of the water. The splashes, the smooth slippery feeling is to be enjoyed. She can nudge and encourage him to climb high even if it is scary. She can wrap him up cozy and tight so that he can feel loved and safe when worried or scared. She can feed his imagination by dragging him in to pretend time.
Sister and Brother. Older and younger. Congressman and Ballerina. Two peas in our pod. Our kin has a sweet kinship.