I was nursing my 7-month-old daughter one afternoon before her nap. I was shaking, my legs were like jelly, and I had to sit down. Not only did I feel incredibly weak and light-headed, she kept turning away from me and refused to latch on. I put her in her crib, then went to lie down, thinking I was coming down with something.
A few weeks later, I found out why I was feeling so terrible and the reason she didn’t want to nurse anymore: I was pregnant with No. 3. It was a total surprise that had me both excited and worried — my first didn’t take the arrival of his sister as well as I had hoped. In fact, he wanted nothing to do with her, and it bothered me.
I felt like I was just getting the hang of having two kids, and with another one coming on the heels of her birth, I was prepared for his arrival to be a shock to her and her older brother. I would be spread even thinner — and I was, but something marvelous happened between my daughter and her younger brother that I didn’t expect. They fell in love, immediately.
The look on her face when she first laid eyes on him in the hospital is something I remember like it was yesterday. Her lopsided pigtails stuck out straight as she wiggled to get out of her fathers’ arms and join her brother and me in the hospital bed. At first I thought it was because she was feeling possessive and didn’t want to share me, but I was wrong. She wanted her baby brother — to touch him, to kiss him, to look at him. She wanted to be as close to him as possible.
That was over 10 years ago, and that moment solidified a bond between the two of them that has never been broken.
When you have two kids who are joined at the hip, their relationship goes beyond normal sibling love. They protect and take care of one another. They genuinely want to make each other happy, and many times, they think of their sibling before they think of themselves.
Their relationship is strong, which makes it easier for you as their parent. They can play or talk for hours. They start their own traditions, share all of their things, and calm each other down. I can’t tell you how many times my daughter has been able to talk my son down when he is upset. Sometimes I try and fail, and she was an effect on him I just don’t. It’s like they have their own secret language. They understand each other in a way that no one else does.
And when they fight (because they still fight), it is hard on both of them. Most of the time they make up quickly and don’t hold grudges. They carry on as if nothing has happened. It has shown me what true forgiveness looks like. They don’t have time to be angry because they are too busy enjoying each other’s company.
At least once a week, this friendship they share brings tears of joy to my eyes. Just yesterday, my son gave his sister the last of his Cheetos. I could tell he really wanted them, but he knew she wanted them more (and didn’t have her own). Her happiness means more to him than his own and vice versa.
People often ask me if they always get along so well, and I am proud to say that they do. Their bond is tight, and I know it is a forever thing. Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky. This love they share really has nothing to do with me or how I am raising them. They are just two souls who feel complete when they are together.
I can already tell their relationship has set the bar for how they expect to be treated by other people quite a bit higher, and as their mother, that gift is irreplaceable.