My girl adores her little brother. She has since the moment he arrived in her life, when she was 2 years and 11 months old. It’s a love that seems to grow every day. I find it remarkable that he doesn’t irritate her more than he appears to, as he is often playing with her toys, messing them up, begging her to play things when she’s otherwise engaged, taking over her TV viewing – you know all the things that little brothers do! But no, she very rarely loses her temper with him, and most of their time together is spent giggling and conspiring.
The moments that I enjoy the most, are the ones when she’s taking care of him. It’s the little things. When she comes home from school, they both sit at the bottom of the stairs to take their coats and shoes off, and she always assists him with his. I love that she does this, and I love that he looks up to her and has come to expect her to help him. We got caught in a blizzard the other day, and Little Man was scared and upset. Boo reassured him he’d be OK, explaining what was happening, stroking him soothingly. He advised me earnestly, after calming down, that Boo had looked after him.
And then she teaches him. Whether it be a new game that she’s showing him, words that she slowly enunciates just for him so that he can understand and repeat, or dance moves to her favourite songs…
They were ‘dancing’ here to Hop Little Bunnies, which starts with the little bunnies sleeping, so Little Man duly copied Boo in all of the actions.
I love times like this. He looks up to her, she passes on her knowledge to him. Now, don’t be fooled into thinking that he plays a subservient role to her all-knowing, wise, 5 year old self. Oh no, there is resistance if he’s not keen on her ideas! But, by and large, he goes along, eager to share in whatever his big sister comes up with. Into imaginary worlds, where only the two of them really understand what’s happening.
These are the little moments that I can see diminishing over time, until they are mere whispers at the corners in my mind. These will be the little moments that the children are unlikely to ever even remember. But the sibling love, the bond, I hope that stays with them both forever, and I have the privilege of watching it grow.