Brothers - written 2020
Updated: Apr 19, 2021
Brotherhood is a strange thing. At times it seems larger than life.
And in the next moment it hangs on by a wing and a prayer.
I feel so grateful that I was able to give my boys this gift of brotherhood. But it also is completely unsatisfying and somewhat unnerving that they do not yet see it as such.
Sure they love having someone to play with and bounce ideas off, most of the time. Sure they love how when it’s a brother’s birthday they automatically get a sibling present from their grandparents. Sure. Sure. Sure.
But they also are simultaneously incensed by and driven by the constant competition with one another. And I hate competition among brothers.
The other night we watched a family favorite- Star Wars. It was the scene where Obi-Wan tells Anakin that they were “brothers” and that he had “loved him” as they face off for the first time on opposite sides- adversaries. When I was in grade school I read a short book, That Was Then This Is Now, with two brothers who find themselves in similar circumstance. I think about that little book all the time. I worry sometimes. I think what if...
And then I think - they are grateful in their own ways even if they don’t have words for it. Even if they aren’t able to use the words they do have, unless of course you count a grunt as a word. Two grunts?
The truth is you don’t need words to show love or devotion. Maybe they just understand.
We are using a program called Mango for language development as part of our “beyond the classroom curriculum“. In a French lesson, we heard the word “frere” which means “brother” in English. It comes from the word friar, which was essentially a holy person who lived among secular people instead of among a holy order. His brothers were his neighbors, regular people.
A friar had to find a way to deal when his secular, regular people brothers were proving their unholy-ness. The whole purpose of a friar frere is to learn to keep the peace when those around you are off the wall. If I think about it this way, then my boys are definitely testing each other, which is exactly what they should be doing.
When I think about it this way, all is momentarily right in the world.
Hoping your world is coming together, even if just for a beautiful moment too.