Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In Sibling Love...It's Complicated.

Emily, 11, hugs baby Ethan, 5 months
It's been said that a picture says a thousand words.

Maybe so. But this one says one word to me: Love.

Sadly, the word wasn't always true...though it's becoming truer by the day. Not that they ever didn't love one another. Sometimes sibling love is complicated.

I love that photos capture a moment, though. That moment looks so peaceful and sweet and serene and...and...

It doesn't matter that a moment earlier the two might have been crying or pulling each other's hair. (They weren't.)  In the photo, they look perfect. (They were.) A snapshot of time...captured peace.

Emily and Ethan have had an interesting relationship.

Being older than him by nearly 11 years makes them in two different realms age-wise.  Emily is his boss, his leader, his "one-in-charge." There's no way around that. She's nearly ready to graduate while he's nearly ready to start school.

It wasn't the spacing that we had planned. But God had other ideas -- all good, I know.

But, much like his sister at the same age, Ethan doesn't like other people being in charge. He wants some, okay, all of the control. He came out of the womb a born leader.

For the first two years, Ethan was all about Edward. Since they're both boys and there's only 7 1/2 years between them, they had a camaraderie from the get-go. For some reason, Ethan didn't seem as keen to be around Emily. Maybe because she was constantly trying to hold him and hug him and swing him around...and call him "George." (Oops...I think that's a Bugs Bunny cartoon.) He seemed to like his space from Day 1. But we had told Emily that her new baby sibling would like that so I think she got the wrong end of the stick from that same day.

Still, Ethan hit 3 years old and somehow that all changed. Maybe it's the Sunday afternoons we've left them together for impromptu playdates, or just a mutual changing and maturity in personalities and respect.

They seem to get along so much better...with a definite love displayed on both sides. Much more like the "story" in the photo above.

Much more like the one-word I see in the photo: Love.

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