Wednesday, September 3, 2014

All for one

These guys are definitely siblings.  They fight about as much as they get along, but when they get along, it's music to my ears.  I love listening to them converse, interact and play together.  Owen imitates everything Reese does and kicks up everything to the Nth degree just so he can be heard or noticed around here.  And if he's lucky enough to get their attention, and if they are all in a good mood, I love to be the fly on the wall.  

As I've said earlier, how my kids interact and get along is one of the most important things to me as a parent.  I love the fact that the girls are so close in age and even though there's a gap that shouldn't be in between the two boys, they have each other.  Chase being here would make it perfect…in a different way.  But right now they have each other.  Some days they get along and some days they fight.  But as they get older, this will tilt toward getting along more and more and their relationships will change, become even more dependent and more unique.  They will have each other always, no matter how many miles are between them.  Distance will not matter.  They will always be close in their hearts.  

This is my hope and dream, anyway.  I grew up a different way and, thus, not all of my sibling relationships are the close knit type that I wish they were. Actually, they are very distant relationships nowadays.  I didn't work on closeness as a kid, because….well, because I was a kid and so were they and we fought a LOT, just like siblings do.  But there was no working on that relationship and bond encouraged by my parents.    They officiated (sometimes literally--we used sock 'em bop 'ems), but they never tried to make us bond--especially across the gap in ages.  They'd get us to stop fighting with punishment, but that was for their sanity.  There was no "working on relationships" when we were kids.  Things were just they way they were and you got used to it.  My older sister and I are super close today but we weren't always.  We had some major disagreements and fall-outs as adults.  But we worked things out between us over time and have a very special bond.  For the other two sisters, one is completely out of touch and the other relationship is one-sided and hindered by my mom despite her opinion.  But this is all part of what helps guide me and be motivated in encouraging a relationship between my own kids.   In the end, though, a mutual desire to be close was what bonded me with my older sis.  That and we are closer in age, too.  Going through life's milestones (college, weddings, babies, etc.) together certainly facilitates closeness, when both individuals want that.

That's why I do what I do with my kids.  I so often am looking into that crystal globe trying to imagine what things will be like between them as adults.  We even talk about it amongst all of us.  "Reese will be the type to not call or anything and so I'll  be really close to his wife and that's how we'll stay in touch," Emma says.  "Owen will always be the loudest," Karly says.  And so go the predictions….  I try, though they seem to do it on their own, to bridge the gap between the age differences.  But I strongly feel that the way I teach them to get along with each other now will affect how they get along when they are independent.  I tell them I can't make them be best friends.  But I can show them, as I do with my closeness to my own sister, how important those bonds are.  And then I have to let them try it on their own.  They have to see that when they reciprocate on this relationship, it will grow.  I don't get involved on all of their arguments (there are toooooo many).  And there are days when I get sick and tired of officiating.  I remember my mom saying that.  But I do my best to talk to each of them in private about all their siblings and what role they play in our family and how we will all be here for each other.  Always.  And how incredibly important that will be later on in life, in so many ways.  The boys are definitely different than the girls on this whole relationship thing, but I truly see this being important to my boys as adults.    

I'm not saying this is going to work and that it will all be like I hope it will be.  They will piss each other off.  A lot.  And sometimes it will be a big deal. A really big deal.  But I try my best as their mom.    It's not all I do, but it's part of what I do.  I foster their relationships as often as I can and instead of fixing their problems, I make sure one of their siblings fixes it for them when possible.  And when they fall ill, I see the result of this…

A couple of nights ago Owen had a really quick allergic reaction to something, I'm not sure what exactly, and his eyes got red and puffy and watery and he was crying and we were all concerned.  None of my kids had ever had this instant of a reaction to something or this bad of a reaction so I was even caught off guard.  To see the care and concern come out of each of them, was incredible.  Karly wanted to go to the hospital with us if we took him in (I called the hotline first and this took a while so we didn't know what we would need to do).  Emma helped with him and Reese tried entertaining him with toys and giving Owen some of his own toys.  It reminded me how delicate their little hearts are.  How all sibling rivalries are put aside and all they cared about was his well being.  It broke my heart all over again to remember the pain these guys went through watching their baby brother die and how little they each were themselves.  And how much they care…which makes them fragile, whether they are sick or worried about someone who is sick.  

This is why I want them to be close to each other.  I want them to always be there fore each other and know the importance of this.  And I think Chase has a large part in helping me make sure that happens. He has taught them so much in their short lives and he continues to every day.  Owen knows he has a big brother in heaven and I know he'll have questions one day for me that will tear me inside out…  But it's who we are and it's part of our lives.  And it's part of them realizing the importance of each other in their lives and I'm just hoping that this, along with my efforts, will forge that bond between them and continue growing at the incredible rate it is.


  1. I love seeing pictures of your kids. Although I have never met them in person, I feel like I have watched them grow. Beautiful!!! Just Beautiful!!!!!

  2. I loved getting our little visit in on your trip down this way. I miss those days of watching mine and yours play and I just miss you. I love that I can keep an eye on you and the kids and watch them grow. Some day as young men and women they will come to an understanding of what an amazing woman you are and that the strength you have poured into them is the greatest gift a mom can give. :)

  3. It's super important to me too! I really want my kids to be close because my family was not...and still isn't. Nate's death really unified our family because we didn't have anyone else to lean on. I hope that it always stays that way and that my kids always stay close. I really make an effort to keep that going. I love that it is just as important to you too!