Squish was barely a year old when he ran across the living room and tackled his brother for the first time. And in that moment, after we said, “That boy gets whatever he deserves from his big brother,” Micah and I mentally high-fived each other and sat back to watch the brotherly relationship develop.
And it has. And it has been much more of a two-way street than I imagined it would be at this point, with Squish not quite 2 1/2 years old. My expectation — that Manchild would dominate, that Squish would be the somewhat willing sidekick/guinea pig — has given way to the reality that they are a more equally endowed dynamic duo. Sure, Squish can’t recognize the entire alphabet by sight just yet, but he sure as heck isn’t going to let that relegate him to second-tier in their relationship. Rest assured, the boy has plenty to offer on his own.
Who was it, after all, that started the “BOMP!” or “BUMP!” after every sentence? The one that sends both boys into fits of laughter? And who is it that keeps us all amused with his possibly unintentional, yet still impeccable, comedic timing? And who is more than willing to make his somewhat smaller presence known in very big ways, even if it means using every ounce of his strength to push his brother out of the spotlight?
They are very different little boys. Brothers, of course, but not “twins born in different years” kind I thought I might get. And because of their very different personalities and interests it would be really easy — it is really easy — to say that Manchild is the intellectual while Squish shows more physical/athletic talent. Manchild is the lawman while Squish is the outlaw. Manchild the introvert, Squish the extrovert.
But I try really hard not to do that. And instead I try — really hard — to think of the ways they can enrich each others lives as brothers. Because they already do.
Under Manchild’s tutelage, Squish has become interested in letters and words.
Squish encourages Manchild to walk on the wild side a little more than that strait-laced little boy might if left to himself.
Manchild has shown Squish the joys of bike riding — and how to not give up even when it’s hard (despite parental impatience and frustration).
Squish often shows Manchild, through example, to be polite and thoughtful.
They are so different, but so complementary. They have so much to offer to teach each other. If they can stop laughing and/or attacking each other long enough to do so.