What I do remember from my own childhood was a little brother who, in hindsight, adored me.
I tolerated him.
B wanted to do everything I did, hang out with me and play with me. I, being 4 years older, wanted nothing to do with a pesky little brother.
I was hard on B. I made him fetch things for me, run my errands, sometimes do my chores, and basically work his little butt off for slivers of my sisterly attention. Still, the adoration continued, even into high school.
T has a brother, younger by 2 years. T nearly killed him on several occasions, but they got along pretty well. Still, T remembers barely tolerating his brother as well. They played together, yes, but seeing as how they lived on a farm in SW Nebraska, there weren't many other options. And T remembers being awfully mean to K.
And so, based on my own experiences and those of my husband, I often wonder what sort of relationship my two H's will have. Will they be close growing up? Undoubtedly they will be in a way. Physically - they share a room. In time - they're only 15 months apart, so they'll have no choice in the matter there. But after they're grown, what will happen then? And growing up? They're so close in age but they will be at least a year apart in school, with separate friends and activities.
Here are my boys now:
But later? Will they tolerate each other? Love each other? Or a bit of both?
I worry that Holden will spend his life chasing Hollis. I worry that Holden, so close in age to Hollis, will surpass his brother in some skill and that Hollis will feel inadequate. I worry about worrying. Because worrying about my children is just what I do.
I'm also very aware that I'm worrying in hypotheticals. So much of the brother dynamic between the two of them is yet to be determined. Slouching Mom recently wrote a post about the relationship between her two sons. After reading about her boys, a relationship that seems to mirror my own with my brother, I wonder if the youngest in a family is always following an older sibling around. Following and never. quite. catching. up.
H&H will share so much beyond biology. They will share secrets and life defining moments. I won't be a part of much of it. And I wonder how these brothers, one always leading, the other following, will affect each other's lives and personalities.
Will they develop empathy, compassion, and understanding? Or the opposite?
I really shouldn't worry so much.
On Sunday we couldn't get the boys to nap. T and I were fried, so we eventually decided to just let them run around in their room until they got tired and went to sleep.
When T and I went up to "wake" the boys, we found Holden and Hollis grooving to the Ocean Wonders Aquarium music and hopping up and down in Holden's crib. Along with the contents of the boys' room. And I mean all the contents of the room. Everything that wasn't nailed down or plugged in was in the crib. Including all of the baby blankets from the cupboard, all the stuffed animals (including 3 stuffed animals over 3 feet tall), all the throw pillows, Hollis's bedding, and a pair of shoes. They were having a blast.
The boys will be fine. If we do our job, they'll be just fine.
Don't forget to go vote for my post at Sk*rt. I'm shameless, I know.