I have never really expected a lot from my kids. They are only 4 and 2, respectively, and they still have a lifetime of things to learn. As it turns out, I have been sorely underestimating the emotional capacity of their young minds. My son taught me this lesson on a recent trip to the local mall.
It was as ordinary a day as they come. We made a stop at the mall to pick up some things we probably didn’t need and at some point my son and I broke off to go do some guy stuff. The mall had set up an awesome (and free) Easter egg hunt in one of the empty stores. As an aside, this mall has always struggled to fill all the stores, so the Easter egg hunt was greatly appreciated.
Once the final egg was found, my son calmly counted his loot as we moved on to his favourite spot in the mall. The wishing fountain. After all, this is the place where you can make all your wildest dreams come true and all for the low, low price of a quarter and a wish. I prepped him for the big throw by giving him some examples of wishes that ran the gamut from “more sunny days” to “new toys” but he wasn’t having any of that nonsense. No, my tiny little man looked up at me and then decided to drop this bit of awesomeness before launching his coin:
“I wish that I love my sister forever”
I know, right? I just about melted through the floor when he said it. The real kicker was that I could see by the look in his eyes, that he truly meant it. There was no reason for him to play up to the crowd because, well, there was no crowd. I slowly knelt down, gave him a huge hug and told him how proud I was of him. I hope that he could see by the look in my eyes, how much I truly meant that.
I’m not sure if it’s a normal thing among siblings at a young age, but the love my children show for each other can be emotionally overwhelming for me, at times. In thinking back to my childhood with my brother, there weren’t too many moments I can remember that didn’t involve something sharp and dangerous being hurled at one of us, while the other ran for their life.
With my children being only 2 & 4 years old respectively, I can’t possibly expect them to fully understand the value of loving and respecting others. Especially given the fact that they live in a house that doubles as a home daycare and have to watch all their worldly possessions get played with by other children, 5 days out of each week.
Yet, they have transitioned seamlessly and I dare say that this is one of the main reasons they have grown so close in such a short time span. My son, the older of the two, is constantly checking in on his little sister to make sure her needs are being met. When she cries, he almost always runs over to rub her back and ask if she’s okay, which usually causes me to pause in amazement at his brotherly awareness.
Sure, they have some battles too but the majority of their interactions are positive ones. To watch my daughter come down stairs in the morning and immediately head to the couch my son is sitting on, so they can cuddle, absolutely melts this Dad’s heart. I see it in a lot of their daily interactions and I smile each and every time something happens.
I don’t know the exact science behind it and I am absolutely not complaining. My wife, who is with them almost 24 hours a day, is clearly doing an excellent job of teaching them the importance of loving and treating each other with respect. I am eternally grateful for her decision to quit her job in order to stay home and raise our children. I don’t know if you have ever worked in a daycare setting, but it is not for everybody (me) and might be one of the toughest jobs out there.
This probably comes off as a sappy Dad post and may even seem like I am bragging about it. I can assure you that it is simply done out of pride. Maybe this is just how all young siblings behave and I am in for a very rude awakening, very soon. Even if they forget it somewhere down the line, I will always have these memories to look back on and to share with them. In the meantime, I will continue beaming with pride every time they find their way into each other’s arms.