Hear that? That’s the sound of laughter. It’s coming from my living room. My children are playing together. Over the last few months, the sounds in my house have transformed. The children have gone from two very different little ones who didn’t do a lot of interacting to children who adore each other. Halle has developed a personality and now that she has the ability to move around and smile, the children can play together and interact.
The days immediately following Halle’s birth were not easy, and we were prepared for a time of adjustment. Max was not even two yet and had his time of jealousy and curiosity while he realized that he was not the sole recipient of mom and dad’s attention any more. His jealousy was apparent in the form of tantrums, constantly wanting to be held (he was still so young himself!) and of course, he was constantly curious about this little creature that showed up and stole his show. We did our best to let Max know how very much he was loved. That, in fact, she was not stealing the show and he had just gained a co-star.
This morning I heard a noise coming from our office. We have framed photographs all over the place, and the bookshelf in the office is no exception. I walked in the room to see Max rearranging the pictures. He was moving the framed individual photographs of him and his sister right next to each other on the shelf. He was pointing and saying their names and showing me that he wanted their pictures on the same shelf, side by side, with nothing between them.
I stood there with a happy heart as he continued to point to her picture and say his sister’s name with a smile. It made me really think about how much they already love one other, and how amazing it is that they are developing a relationship right before my very eyes. Max is already used to having his sister by his side, all of the time. They share a double stroller, their bedrooms and next to each other- they even take baths together. Neither of them will ever know what life was like without the other by their side.
Over the last couple months, Halle has really changed. She loves to smile and laugh. She loves to play with Little People. She loves playing peek-a-boo. She adores her brother. The good news is her brother adores her right back. They make each other laugh. He lays on her, he gets toys he knows she loves, and he hides behind the curtains and jumps at her. Sometimes he takes her toys away, just because he can. But regardless of that, they are two children who have a unique bond. They have each other.
Sibling relationships are complex. While you share genes, you never know what you may have in common, if anything. Yet you are constantly together and you want the same thing: unwavering love and attention from Mom and Dad. Giving the gift of a sibling is a wonderful present that any child is lucky to receive. Siblings provide more than just a baby for mom and dad, they provide a childhood companion and a playmate; and they teach built-in social skills. Siblings share inside secrets, and siblings have the ability to recall things about their childhood and growing up that even their mom, dad and best friends may not know.
Siblings will grow up together, spend a lifetime of bickering and vying for attention, but they will also have years of laughter and memories that only a sibling is able to provide. I hope that no matter where my children’s lives may take them, like their photographs on the bookshelf, they always remain close to one another.
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