Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sibling Dynamics



I remember sharing my sadness with Chris over the relationship E and J-Man had.  They struggled, ya'll.  They struggled for a long time after E gave up his only child status and J-Man entered our home throwing punches.  I would look at other moms' blogs and read posts about how much their kids loved each other, how they were the best of friends.  I'd peruse their pictures of tiny siblings hugging and kissing.  And I would worry.

My kids didn't really like each other.  They couldn't be left alone in the same room because there would be injuries and tears.  There were no lovey dovey touches.  No words of friendship.

Chris grew up with a brother and so he assured me that brothers fight, but ultimately they love each other, and our boys would too...eventually.  But they'd always fight.

I hoped he was right.

At library storytime this morning, J-Man spontaneously stopped doing the motions to the song, walked over to E, and put his arms around him.  E, who usually pushes him away, wrapped his arms around J-Man, and they hugged.  Yes, it was precious.

I felt proud.  I felt like a good mom!  I imagined the people sitting behind me smiling and whispering amongst themselves how cute that was, how much those boys loved each other, and of course, what a good job I must be doing as a mom!

Here's the reality of it.  Last weekend J-Man went after E's face with his mouth open and teeth showing.  I grabbed him before the biting of the face began.  But this is still the sort of thing that happens between my boys.  It's just SO MUCH LESS OFTEN now.  Progress has been made.  I know they love each other and I know they will grow to love each other more as they grow up.  They have their "awww" inducing Hallmark moments, but they don't come that often.  Their love shows up more often in subtle ways.  When J-Man comes to help E clean his room without being asked.  When E makes sure J-Man remembers to grab a toy before we leave the house.

What I want to say is that throwing another sibling into the mix always disrupts your family dynamic and adoption (especially older child adoption) brings additional challenges in that area, but press on and keep your faith.  It will get better.  We have to just keep on loving our children and teaching them to love each other.   It will take time.  It might take a lot of time.  And our kids might not have constant Hallmark moments with each other, but we'll probably see the love somewhere if we look hard enough for it.


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