Opening in two days at the National Geographic Museum, Food: Our Global Kitchen, looks like it's going to be a fascinating exhibit. I'm definitely going to get a ticket and go. Check it out!````
Not remotely related to that is a simple wish that my boys always remain as close and connected as they are now. I woke up this morning to the sound of Legos being swooshed around in hard plastic bins. As if they were sorting pebbles from dried beans, their little hands raked through the blocks and beams and tiles and bricks, searching for particular pieces that would enhance their newest creations.
I could just make out their conversation, sweet wisps of both teamwork and loving push-back when one's plan didn't totally mesh with the other's.
"Here, Ollie, you can have this helmet." "Oh, fanks, Jack. That's the one I wanted." "You're welcome. Can we share what you make?" "Sure, Jack." "Butt." "Hah."
I snuck out of bed to peek in on them through Jack's partially-open door. Jack was, as usual, just in his undies while Ol was in PJs, a cotton shorts set covered in stars. Their hair was mussed, and their rapport was so easy and supportive and happy. It is good I didn't plan to go in because there was not a clean spare inch of space on the floor. Lego vomit pains the feet.
I am grateful for their relationship not only because it sucks to mediate sibling fighting but because I worried about this when I didn't have daughters. My sister and I are so close, and I just didn't have experience with boys and their brothers. Of those brothers I did know, not too many were super-close or even called or visited each other. T and his brother get along well but never talk. They call each other on their respective birthdays, and then we see them each summer at the beach. That seems to work well for them, but A) I would be crushed and feel like I was really missing out if I spoke to my sister that infrequently, and B) the complete opposite is what I hope Jack and Ol grow to do.
I see the comfort their connection provides them now. I see the way they look out for and stand up for each other, and it is very dear. This morning, Oliver said that we would need to hide his Wonder Woman costume when friends came over, and Jack said, "Oliver, why? No one will laugh or make fun of you. That would be stupid and mean." Though I wish I could agree completely, and love that Jack so truly believes all that, it would be naive for me to teach them that society is past a point where some would laugh or belittle or judge. Ol is much more attuned to societal norms and nuance than is Jack who continues to be somewhat blissfully clueless and/or unaffected by external expectations. So, I need to help give him a tool kit for how to respond rather than to be completely blindsided. That's a hard one and also not the point of this piece.
Back to their brothership. Of course they bicker and try to get each other's goat. They yell and brawl and all that jazz. But at the end of the day, they mostly just want to hang out together, build with Legos, pee on a tree, dress up and engage in serious pretend play and have Mom keep them fed.