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Brotherly Love
I'm just starting to delve into the relationships between brothers. I have a brother but, being a girl and all, relationships between boys are not my forte.

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.

Sleep? Ha!

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.



Blogger Julie Pippert said...

You know, as parents we like to feel like there is something we can do. I have a "PhD" in Siblings without Rivalry. Does it help? err, maybe, a little, sometimes. In the end it comes mainly down to personalities, even though how we handle things, teach them to manage conflict, and other circumstances matter.

My girls are older. They play nicely, they love each other, and fight ferociously (sometimes unceasingly). I think they'll manage to be better friends than my sister and I did, although truthfully we were/are pretty close. I could beat up on her, but you raise one eyebrow to her...no sirree bob. LOL

Anyway...I know we all worry.

But you are right that if you set them up to succeed, like as not they will and will end up with a good relationship.

And I am LMAO at that video. I particularly like the bum to the head and the pitiful baby face at the end.

P.S. If I avert my eyes for a second, there is wanton destruction here too LOL.

Blogger slouching mom said...

This is how I see it being: like me and my brother, you and your brother, and now, to me, it seems, Ben and Jack, they will fight, they will play beautifully together, they will fight...

But, and I think this is important: if anyone tries to harm Jack in any way whatsoever, Ben will be there in a heartbeat to protect his little brother. He can beat up on Jack, apparently, but no one else can.

Adorable video!

Blogger Jen Magnuson said...

"Hollis, get off your brother." Oh geeze, this was a great thing for me to see this morning; thank you! TOO FUNNY. And always, always so good to know that I am not alone.

Blogger ExPatSW said...

'That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.' They'll be fine....if they survive their childhood! Remember, JDSR&S survived and so have R&K. We grow 'dem hardy!

Blogger Oh, The Joys said...

I, like you, have a little brother. Poor guy.

I have two younger brothers. One is 8 years younger than the other and oftentimes I think it's the YOUNGEST brother (now 20) that is the leader if you can believe it. Sometimes I think it just depends on individual personalities and how they interact together.

But based on your boys' little escapade in the bedroom, on thing's for sure - it sounds like they have lots of fun together! And that pic of them in the crib with the matching pacifiers is just so adorable. Makes me want to have to little boys too (*wink*).

Blogger niobe said...

I think so much of the relationship between siblings depends on their personalities -- whether they mesh or not. My brother (18 months younger) and I were (and are) extremely close. I always thought it was because we were so close in age, but I've met many siblings pairs who didn't get along at all despite small age gaps.

Blogger Alpha DogMa said...

Having a strained relationship with my own brother makes me fret about my boys' connection. It must break my mother's heart that my brother and I are strangers to one another.

Blogger NotSoSage said...

Oh, that face. Those two faces. They're so adorable.

Blogger flutter said...

You know it's odd, in hindsight I see that my brother (he's 5 years older) adored me.

He adored me, and to think of that now makes me cry. Your sons will be thankful for eachother...they will

Blogger Treadmillista said...

I have an older brother, 15 months older, and I wouldn't say that I wanted his attention as much as I wanted any attention that might have been directed towards him instead of me. I grew up competing with him at every turn. We barely tolerated each other, and as teens I would say we hated each other. Some distance and many years have allowed us to be closer, but living over 1000 miles apart doesn't allow for being that close.

I almost want to have a 3rd child just for the possibility that at least two of my kids will have a decent relationship. Right now my two get along fine most of the time, but at 2 and 4 who really knows.

What about the plight of the oldest child?! We....the guinea pigs of our parents' parenting....we need the worry! :)

I had a younger brother and he bugged me TO DEATH.

The Princess is quite tolerant of Junior Mayhem and I delight in watching them play!

Blogger jen said...

one of the hardest things i've pondered is allowing M to be an only child. seems like so much to miss out on...and two boys, or two girls..it seems so special.

Blogger Jenn said...

Ultimately, with a mom like you, the ties that bind will be what prevails.

Despite battles over toys and punches over tonka trunks, they know that underneath all of it is something you can't put into words.

Keep doing your job.

Just might want to start labeling the rum bottles, that's all.

Blogger CPA Mom said...

You know my older sister (older by 16 months) and I are completely estranged. You may not know how much I ADORED her growing up. And much like you and your brother, she tolerated me. Barely. Now our relationship is not salvagable.

My younger sisters, by 3 and 4 years, I TOLERATED. Now? I ADORE THEM.

So, no rhyme or reason. I wonder but don't worry, about my two. What will be, will be. Very Mary Poppins of me, eh?

Blogger Amy W said...

Even though I have two girls, I often have to say "get off your sister". Just like you said (except saying brother) in the video.

Relationships will change, but just the fact they are so close in age? I think they are destined to be close...

Blogger Bon said...

i don't have siblings, not really, and have little to contribute on how that all works out...but damn, i laughed at the video. you have some funny boys.

Blogger Barb said...

I have two older brothers and as time went on, the older one started to really be a follower of the younger. They are three years apart but the younger brother is just a lot better at things, um, like LIFE, than the older one.

As for me, I have two daughters and they are 2.5 years apart. Without a doubt, the best thing I ever did for my older child was to deflect the white hot heat of my intense parenting focus away from her by giving birth to the little girl we call "Hurricane Jane." They bicker and they are frequently mean to each other but they really and truly love each other, too. You don't have to do your job right for your boys to be fine. They'll probably work out how to be fine all by themselves.


Blogger Sunshine said...

My two boys are each other's best friend. They are two years apart and though they do fight occasionally, they are very close. It makes me feel good knowing they will always be there for each other.

Blogger Christine said...

H & H are bound to be close as they grow. they are beautiful boys. . .

Blogger Ally said...

Oh my gosh, the video clip killed me. It was so familiar, because that is my girls fighting and both of them fighting with their brother. "Hey, I'll just go sit on my brother's head. Yeah, that's a good idea." What are they thinking?

They'll turn out great.

As a mom of 3 boys.

Ages 2 1/2, 1 1/2 and 11 weeks...

I apreciated this post immensely!!

My first 2 boys are 12 months apart... and they are just beginning to do the "brother" thing. The wrestling... the baseball... the slapping... the yelling... the chasing... and even the hugs and kisses!!

Each day is something new for me b/c - being a WOMAN - it's interesting to see how these little men react.

I must say... it's a heck of a ride and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!

Love your blog!

- Audrey
Pinks & Blues Girls

Blogger Gunfighter said...

I have a brother. He is four years older than me.

I don't like him very much, and I am pretty sure he really dislikes me, too... and I think we are both OK with that.

I surpassed him academically and physically at a young age. I surpassed him professionally a long time ago, and he has been eating his own liver over it for most of our lives.

I am sure some brothers are the best of pals, and I think that's great, but it hasn't been my experience.


Anonymous Jenny said...

So sweet. Almost makes me want to have another kid.


Blogger Brillig said...

Your boys are ADORABLE!!!

I too have a whole bunch of boys in my house, and the youngest two are as close as your two are--15 months. I enjoyed this post a lot. I have the same hopes that you have.

Blogger Jenny said...

The video clip was hilarious. We've got the same madness going on with our boys.

Anonymous whymommy said...

Love this peek into brotherhood.

I can't wait to see my boys develop this relationship.

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