Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Magic (Sibling) Moments

A few months ago, my daughter was sitting in a plastic toy shopping cart in our living room watching TV. All of a sudden, my son came up behind her and gave her a push.  Miraculously, she didn't fall over or crash into anything.  Instead she started laughing like crazy.  And then my son laughed.

And they kept doing it.  She'd climb inside, he'd push her around the living room, and they would both giggle like hyenas. And it hit me that this was one of those magic moments. This might have been the first time my daughter was actually EXCITED to have a little brother.  This might have been the first time that she was including him and he was actually responding.

And the moment felt bigger somehow because it wasn't something that I constructed.  This wasn't an activity that I took the time to set up, hoping that it would manage to hold their attention.  This wasn't me forcing them to share toys or play in the same area.  This was my two kids, coming up with their own game, and genuinely enjoying each other's company. 

Fast forward to this week.

I asked my daughter if she would play with her brother so I could clean up the kitchen.  She clearly wasn't interested, so I suggested they could play "Roll the Balls Down the Hall." It's a pretty self-explanatory game at our house... which usually morphs into "Throw the Balls at Each Other" within a couple of minutes.  She perked up, and started gathering the balls for the game.

As she's piling balls in the hallway, my son starts lining them up.  When my daughter picks them up and starts rolling them - he screams bloody murder.  When she retrieves them and attempts to help him line them up - he screams bloody murder.

"Ugh!" she sighs dramatically.  "I wish he'd just PLAY!"

Oh, sweetheart.  You and me both.

I had visions of all sorts of "sibling moments" when I was pregnant with your brother.  I could picture future-him bothering you when you had friends over for a sleepover in middle school.  I could imagine you two building Lego castles together or you reading him a book before bedtime.  And I don't know if  the "disconnect" between you two has to do with your age gap... or if it's all just his speech/language disorder.

But I DO know that I hope you keep trying.  Because even though those bonding moments are few and far between these days, I have to believe they will happen.  I have to believe that in 10 years, when you're both teenagers, you'll roll your eyes at each other behind my back over some "annoying" thing that I just said. I have to believe that someday, he'll have enough words to be able to offer to beat up that guy who breaks your heart.

No matter what happens, you two are going to have a shared history.  Here's hoping it's full of at least a few "magic moments."

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