As I sit here typing, I was just thinking that there is nothing more heartwarming than brotherly love. You know, that bond brothers have. There is just something so very special about —
Hang on. Someone’s yelling in the living room …
OK, I’m back. It seems Carter had decided to help Dad by picking up the toys. This included the two that his brother happened to be playing with at the time. Then after voicing his displeasure, Gavin decided to retrieve said playthings from the toybox and Carter was upset with having his work undone.
Where was I … oh yeah, brotherly love.
It’s not too surprising that my boys sometimes get on each other’s nerves. My brother Jared and I (he is five years my junior) used to fight like cats and dogs. But we also spent our share of quality time together as well. When I look back to some of the best times I had growing up, he was right beside me.
Living in different parts of the world now, I don’t see him that often. Usually it’s once a year, in the fall, when I make a trip to the Twin Cities. It doesn’t matter though because we crack open a beer, and pick up right where we left off the year before.
That’s what I want for my sons. Not the distance between them, but the ability to be comfortable enough with their relationship to skip the awkward formalities that a long time of being apart sometimes brings.
The first 12 months watching my twin sons interact was difficult because it was far from what I expected. My sons were getting bigger and older, and seemed to ignore each other completely. They knew the other existed, but they really didn’t seem to care.
Did they realize that it wasn’t their brother who was going to feed them, or change them, or put them down for a nap? Had it dawned on them that one was as helpless as the other?
There were times when one would cry (normally Carter) and their sibling would give them that look, almost saying, “Dude! What the hell is wrong with you?”
Before they were born I imagined two best friends coming into the world at the same time. (For example, my friend Erik and I were born just 2 days apart). I was all excited about the “secret twin language,” even joking with the idea of videotaping it, and asking them what they said to each other years from now. (It’s an old Steven Wright Joke).
None of that really happened until they started getting more mobile. Now here it is, a year later, and they spend the day chasing one another. They are both learning what their independent interests are and have no issue playing alone, but it seems that one will gravitate toward the other as the day wears on.
Last week, Gavin tripped while running into the living room and landed right on one of his Matchbox cars. He had the print of the hood of the car right under his eye to prove it. My wife comforted him as he cried his tale of woe and Carter made a point to come over and make sure he was OK. It’s probably the first sign of compassion we’ve seen either of them show. It warms your heart.
My boys are growing up, and I have to accept that. What makes it a little easier is knowing that they are growing up together – brothers always.
A version of this first appeared on Double Trouble Daddy.