photo: Lisa Thornbury
I fell head over heels for each of my children in an instant. When my son met his baby sister for the first time, he was hesitant, but only for a moment. While he stroked her downy soft hair, he vowed to always take care of her.
Sure, they may tease and squabble and possibly bite a hand leaving behind tiny teeth marks, but mostly they are faithful friends. Siblings: Is there anything sweeter?
I thought I couldn’t possibly love them more until that fateful day when the ambulance came. My youngest needed help and my oldest child, blurred out of sight, was brought back into focus with the words, “Mummy, don’t worry about me. I’m fine. Just please, please let her be okay.”
Standing with his back pressed firmly against the wall out of the way of the paramedics, I remember warning him about the mad rush of people who would be coming any minute, and to stay out of their way. He was holding his sister’s pink bear, which he later handed to me to bring along to the hospital. I realized, in that moment, that he loves his sister as much as I love them both and my heart ached under the weight of that realization.
My son has loved his sister from the moment he laid his baby browns on hers. Years later, he still refers to her as his best friend. She follows him everywhere and does as he does. It can be frustrating to have a permanent shadow, and at times he asks for a break. But mostly, he includes her and they speak a language that only siblings do.
I listen to their conversations; his patient tone while she attempts in her way to communicate. I've wondered if she’ll learn to talk the way her peers do or if she’ll be teased because of her developmental delays. I am grateful that she has her brother to protect and love her.
He teaches her about LEGO and dinosaurs and how to kick a ball. She teaches him patience, compassion and acceptance. They teach me how resilient and how big-hearted people can be.
As I peek into my daughter’s flowery bedroom, I see my son has snuck into his sister’s bed, now fast asleep with a blonde curly mop of hair tucked into the crook of his neck, and I know that no matter what the future holds, they have each other.
Do you have a sweet sibling story to share?
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