I have 2 older sisters so much of my childhood was experienced without siblings nearby. I envied my friends who had brothers because it just seemed so cool to be able to play sports together and learn from each other. I get it, many of you who have brothers might not see it the way my mind did as a child but I’m still envious of you. The brother relationship is like all relationships in that they are complex but it seems to me the potential is great.
Today I’m watching Herschel and Woody play. As 2 and 3-year-olds, play and social play is still in its early stages. Watching them negotiate and create their own rules is a challenge but over the last few months, they’ve begun to show a lot of progress. Herschel can be the sweetest older brother at times and wants to see Woody happy. Woody watches his older brother carefully and will mimic his actions. The kindness and caring are usually short-lived and often things go awry. But each day it seems that time of cooperation and collaboration is extended.
Clearly, I identify as a grandparent. It’s a role I’ve embraced and thrive in. I discovered the delight early on in this role was in watching and being less helpful. Watching them figure out how to play is fascinating and wonderful to watch. The degree to which I intervene is minor but hopefully useful.
I know many of my friends who have brothers don’t seem to be as close as they might be or maybe hoped to be. I’m imagining a day when my boys will be golfing together and taking trips with their families. I also hope that one day I’ll experience what my 91-year-old father did last weekend which was to watch 10 of his great-grandchildren play together.
I’d love to hear from those of you with brothers to share some of your insights on this relationship. Is it delightful?