My kids fight with each other. (What siblings don’t, really?) But put them in an unfamiliar environment, take them away from each other, or introduce something—anything—that is not part of their normal lives/routine/expectations and they become each others biggest supporters/protectors.
I find this re-assuring. If ever something were to happen to me or to their father, they have each other. And they will be there for each other. I appreciate their connection. I cherish their connection. I’m proud of their connection.
What I shouldn’t do (but I do it all the time) is underestimate their connection.
Recently, Big Sister was invited for an overnight stay at Grandma and Grandpa’s. She’s school-age and therefore was off school until January 7. Little Brother, however, attends a preschool that runs on the schedule of working parents, therefore he was back to preschool right after the holidays.
I could have taken him out of preschool and sent him along with his sister to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, but I thought it would be nice for Big Sister to spend some time alone with her grandparents, and I thought it would be super nice to spend an evening just me, my husband and Little Brother—something we don’t often get to do.
So, off went Big Sister and plans were made to take Little Brother out for dinner as a special treat.
Now, you may be expecting some story about the horrors that we experienced by separating Big Sister and Little Brother. No such thing transpired. It was actually quite a pleasant evening.
The three of us enjoyed a nice meal at a local restaurant and then came home. My husband and I commented to each other in the car on the drive home that taking only one child out for dinner was too easy. We felt like we were missing something because the whole evening went off without a hitch. (Not that taking both my kids out for dinner is terribly challenging. They are very good kids when we take them out to eat.) But once you get used to managing two, handling one just isn’t challenging.
When we got home, it was bedtime for Little Brother. But oh how he protested. My kids sleep in the same room and they go to bed at the same time. And apparently there was no way Little Brother was going to bed without his sister. After much tickling and singing and story reading, he finally succumbed to slumber. But, I swear, it was more torturous for him to be separated from his sister at bedtime than to have all of his toys taken away.
Never underestimate the power of the sibling bond.