Here's the thing: with two little boys and no little girls in our house the learning curve is at an all time high when it comes the dynamic of brothers. Neither Jack nor I grew up experiencing brothers having brothers. So watching this relationship between Gage and Max develop, grow and change is new territory for both of us. Its thrilling and exhausting and terrifying. But mostly, its wonderful.
A few things happening in the world of brothers here.
Loving a little brother means hauling the sled up the hill for him. Time and time again. Without being asked.
Loving a big brother is trusting that he will line you up at the top of the hill and push you safely to the bottom. Then, when you collide head on with a tree, loving a big brother is turning to look for him first for consoling words and hugs. And chewing him out later.
Loving a little brother is coming inside twenty minutes later to put on a shirt and socks because little brother was so anxious to get outside you thew a coat and boots on over bare skin. Loving a big brother, is coming inside while he finishes getting dressed, all the while reliving the glory of those rides down the hill and then heading back out for more, chatting the whole way.
Loving a big brother? Its sitting through hours of practices and competitions without complaint. While playing with hand me down toys and wearing hand me down clothes.
Loving a little brother is answering to "Brother" in front of your big kid friends. Max has always called Gage "Brother" and hardly anything else.
Loving a brother, big or little, is physical. Football, bullriding, wrestling, and fight are the ultimate activities. You hardly play anything else.
Loving a brother is racing. Racing down a hill in a sled. Racing back to your seat after the children's sermon. Racing to get dressed the quickest. Being a brother is then rubbing it in just enough to feel good but not so much to make the loser cry.
Being a big brother is picking up all the toys, even though you had no part in the making the mess. And only complaining a little.
Being a brother, big or little, is adoration in your counterpart. Its an evolution of two souls, a bond of brotherhood we may never understand through observation. I am blessed to get a front row seat to the feature event.