Hindsight Parenting: He’s Her Brother
He’s Her Brother
When my son graduated from college, it was a proud day for all except one; his 6 year old sister. Well, she MAY have been proud, but that isn’t the emotion that oozed from her pores that day and for several subsequent days. As with any little one, all thoughts of his graduation centered around her. How could HIS graduation in any way be about her you ask? Well here’s a quote: “Mama, I know that this is a proud day and all for my brother, but I am just so happy because this means that he’ll never leave me again!” And while both you and I know that nothing about that is even remotely true, we’ll let her have it, even if it is for just a little while.
Honestly, that exclamation and her unbridled excitement at his homecoming encapsulate all that she feels about that brother of hers. Her love for him is fervent. FER. VENT. Since he’s been home, this soon-to-be seven year old has taught herself to use “SIRI” on my phone in order to call or text her beloved brother every single day. The text is typically one line: “Are you coming to see me today?” `Not “Watcha doin?” Not, “Hey! I lost my tooth!” Nope. Just,“Are you coming to see ME today.” After all, to that sweet daughter of mine, her big brother’s raison d’etre is to spend time with her.
Of course, that ISN’T his reason-to-be. Probably not even close. Let’s see…at twenty two years old (if I can remember that far back…) hanging with friends, spending time with his girlfriend, and navigating his new career are probably way more enticing than spending time with a little sister. But she doesn’t know that. In fact, I am sure it’s never crossed her mind. I tell you, there is nothing better than sitting in my kitchen and hearing the two of them enjoying each other. If you were sitting with me, you’d likely hear my eldest doing a spot-on Grover-from-Sesame Street impersonation, or the two of them giggling at SpongeBob’s antics. Lately, they’ve taken up searching for Pokemon throughout my neighborhood while simultaneously walking the dog he purchased for her two years ago.
I marvel…absolutely marvel at his ability to give her time and attention because I know for a fact, that my wonderful son didn’t learn that from his parents who at the young ages of their early twenties came up so very short in the parenting department. And that’s the thing–the heart-bursting thing for this mama–while his love for her is an unending source of happiness, her love for him has has given him the gift of unselfishness that comes out of unconditionality. Their love for each other is just something to behold.
My daughter only has one set of grandparents. And while my husband’s mom and dad love her dearly, they are both in their 90’s and not in any position to be truly involved in her life. I used to lament this. Worrying that somehow she was missing out on that grandparent kind of unconditional love that is such a blessing. But watching my son interact with my daughter, I have come to realize it doesn’t matter WHO that kind of love comes from, just that it exists.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Logan has lived in Glens Falls, NY all her life. By day, she is an educator with 20 years experience, a mom to Aidan and Gannan, her two teenage boys, a new mommy to a beautiful daughter, Ila, and wife to the love of her life, Jeffrey. By night, weekends and any spare time she can find, Logan writes. She loves memoir and also adores writing essays about the challenges of parenthood. This year she started a parenting blog called A Muddled Mother, an honest place where mothers aren’t afraid to speak of the complications and difficulties that we all inevitably experience. Logan has been published in various children’s and parenting magazines including Today’s Motherhood, Eye on Education, Faces, and Appleseed. Logan’s previous column for Hilltown Families, Snakes and Snails: Teenage Boys Tales ran bi-monthly from June 2010-Feb. 2011, sharing stories of her first time around as a parent of two teenage boys. — Check out Hindsight Parenting: Raising Kids the Second Time Around on the fifth Monday of the month.