I am the middle child
I have an older brother who is very close in age and a little brother who is 7 years younger.
They are some of the closest human beings in my life.
There have been extended periods of time where we each lived on three different continents , and still today the geography is quite complex.
But we still talk every day, chit chat via messages during the day, watch football matches simultaneously commenting along the way.
My big brother is my confidant, my best friend, career coach and dance partner.
My little brother is my inspiration, also dance partner and in many ways considered my first child.
Because I have such a strong sibling bond ( thanks to our amazing parents) I think about my kids and how they will grow together often.
They are still very young and very close in age but I’ve noticed a wonderful closeness that literally makes my heart sing.
My son has probably 5 clear words and ‘lala’ as he used to call her has now become ‘Ella’ – her actual name which he calls out 1038794 times a day.
It takes an extra effort for us as parents to keep them together, they eat together, sleep together, play together, and engage in the same activities.
It’s not the easiest, I can tell you that right away. For example, it would be easier to put my 5 year old to bed, read her a story calmly, and let her fall asleep and then tackle to rolling 1,5 year old who needs about 35 -55 mins of bedtime routine. But, we don’t, we have them both in a giant bed because they want to be together, holding hands, tickling, pretending to listen until we take a child each to calm them down.
The same when you are trying to build a structure with blocks with the 5 year old and my lil ones favorite game is to knock everything down.
But we do, we soldier on ..
Of course they both get one-on-one time with their parents but on the whole they are together the majority of the time.
My daughter loves her brother, he is ‘her baby’. Sometimes she just stares at him and tells him , I love you my bestest, cutests little louis.
I remember that exact same feeling when I held my little brother the first time, I remember complete happiness.
Ella went to a sleepover last weekend and we had that serious talk were I told her “if you every feel scared, afraid or uncomfortable you can always ask to come home, at any time”. Then I asked if there was anything she was worried about and she said “yes mum, I am very worried about Louis, what will he do in the night if I am not there”💜
It comes across quite a lot, and even her teachers tell me that Ella and her friends spend a lot of time caring for, and playing with this little boy in the playground. And I want to do everything to help them keep this mutual bond.
We have found that in books for our age group, siblings are very rarely together. We love Doc McStuffins and Donny for example but there aren’t so many stories where they share the adventure. More often , where there are siblings, the little brother or sister is seen as a nuisance to the older.
I remember being as old as 7 and feeling sad in class one day, in tears I ran out of my class and into my brothers class, and jumped on his lap to cry. He was 10 back then and didn’t even blink, he just held me till it was over ( right in the middle of a lesson by the way). And yes we argued over things like everyone else in our childhood but the kindness and complicity was the norm rather than the impatience and annoyance which is often portrayed.
We found a story we love by an afroswedish author Anna Munyua about a little boy who is about my sons age, Melvin. Melvin has all sorts of cheeky adventures, his 2 year old self believes he is the most important and the center of the world :D. One night after totally wearing out his parents he is up in his crib crying… his big sister walks over from her room and gives him a hug and comforts him. That moment was truly special, Ella immediately said to me “ that’s me mummy , I’ll always take care of my louis even when you aren’t there”
Books continue to be the mirrors in our home.
I am writing a series of books about Louis and Ella where I hope to include all these aspects an themes that are important to us and that we aspire to.
The process continues.
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