What brothers and sisters do

I didn’t set out to write a series about siblings right now, but there’s a lot of sibling action at the moment.  Thursday late in the day we drove three hours north to visit my daughter’s brother and his two moms.  Our two families have not been together since March–the longest the young people have ever gone without seeing each other since we all learned of each other and since they met in May 2009.  This too has been a casualty of my work schedule– as well as the result of the other three adults’ too, too busy lives this year.  The young people rarely talk on the phone– they have very little interest in talking on the phone; they rarely text or email and they don’t write letters.  We Skyped once in all this time.  But they miss each other terribly.  I don’t know how to measure the missing but I know it is a big hole for each of them — going so long without each other.

I think they talk–but at 11 and 9 years old, they still wrestle and play on the floor like happy bear cubs when they see each other and they do things.  Brother’s family lives in a big, rambling old house on an enormous yard that wraps all the way around the house.  Unlike in our city life, the two young people wake up and go out to play– sometimes before any of the four adults are awake.  They also play computer games and watch TV a lot– the former not something we do hardly at all at home and the latter to a greater extent than at our house– but they are completely inseparable when we are together.

When we arrived they were on the floor, laughing, jumping onto each other, wrestling and playing within an hour and there was more until bedtime.  It’s cold here and they slept under a ton of covers, in a double size inflatable bed.  Then last night, as it moved toward bedtime, my daughter laughed and smiled and said to A. (one of brother’s moms) in her preteen, ironic tone “If we’re going to sleep together again tonight you need to get me a new sleeping situation– because he pushed me off the bed, or else he needs to scooch over!”  To which brother answered calmly (much of the time he has an amazing kind of matter of fact and friendly tone without guile or defensiveness)– ” Oh, I was just doing that to piss you off.  It’s a brotherly thing.”

We all cracked up and I knew that it was too long apart– not because they lose connection so much as because they have that brother-sister thing going.  When I checked on them in the middle of the night last night they were each stretched out long in their own zones, but cuddled up close.

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