Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Changing Sibling Combinations
After I wrote this post and dried my tears, I began thinking about sibling relationships and combinations.
I want nothing more than my children to grow up as friends.
I imagine a day when they will all be grown ups, married, with kids of their own. I imagine holidays filled with cousins running around together and games being played by the adults while grandma (me) watches all of it in utter delight.
I hope and pray for that. Idealistic as it might be, I do hope and pray for it.
For bonding and lasting relationships and friendships to exist among all of them.
And I know that those relationships will all differ and grow in different ways and at different times as they grow and mature.
Right now, Emily & Molly are BFFs.
Their relationship is easy and loving without much fighting.
Emily and Noah's relationship is more territorial and adversarial. Things haven't changed much since I wrote this many years ago!
And then there is the relationship between the littles... Molly and Abby. They are in competition with each other for my undivided attention and that makes them rivals at this point in their little lives. So they too, are already beginning the early stages of sibling rivalry and consequential fighting.
So breaking apart the relationship that is easy seems to be hitting me the hardest.
But I realize that when Emily goes to school, new sibling combinations will form and different types of relationships will blossom.
I was struck by this very thing on the day that Emily and I ate lunch with Noah.
Noah was in full force mentor and teacher role on that day.
He was eager to explain the whole lunch routine to Emily; carefully walking her through the lunch line and explaining how many items she had to eat from her tray.
He wanted to introduce her to the Kindergarten teacher.
We went to recess and he was so inclusive and gentle with her; even among his friends. He squatted ever so slightly so he could look her directly in the eyes as he asked her if she wanted him to take her up on the playground equipment so she could go down the slide.
I even saw him gently place his hand behind her back as he helped her navigate the playground equipment buzzing with shouting kids who were much bigger than her.
He asked her to join in his game of tag; being sure to point out who the "it" person was and showing her how to slide down a slide to escape being caught.
He was doing all of the things I have always hoped he would do.
So as sad as I am about Molly and Emily's relationship changing next year, I'm also looking forward to what this change might bring for developing and strengthening the relationship between my biggest kids.
And the two littles who will be left at home with me...
I think there might be hope for their little relationship too! Maybe a whole new generation of babies will be born, new vacations will be planned, new dances will be learned, and new dress up combinations will be made.
That's one of the neat things about having multiple siblings, I think.
At different times in their lives, there will be different combinations and different relationships among them.
And in the very end, I hope all of these different combinations grow and change throughout the years; one day adding up to a big group of siblings who love each other, like each other, support each other, and count each other as some of their very best friends.