Our household is just starting to settle into school schedules and routines. We’re all also getting used to my oldest son being away at college—at home now are my 15 year old son and my 10 year old daughter. My two boys have always been really good pals. They both love sports, play football and baseball, like the same video games and share many other interests. I believe the three and a half year age spread between the boys worked well for us because they have always gotten along (for the most part) with very little jealousy or competition between the two of them. When my ten year old Caroline was born, the boys were five and eight. Caroline was always the little princess in our house but she never was able to relate and connect like the boys did.
As Caroline got older she tried hard to join in with her brothers but the close connection seemed to be missing. The boys were bonding through their common activities and Caroline liked arts and crafts, American Girl Dolls and Hannah Montana. When they all sat down in the playroom to watch a show or play a game the boys usually ruled with ESPN unless my husband and I stepped in. I sensed many times Caroline wanting to be included in their world. That is not to say she was ever deprived. Caroline made up for this by surrounding herself with many friends who she played with almost daily. She is a happy, independent little girl with many interests and social activities.
But this month the dynamic is completely different. My college son has actually begun taking a genuine interest in his little sister. They text and talk to each other almost daily. With any luck, I get a call once or twice a week. The other day Caroline came downstairs and announced ”Alex just texted me, he is doing well and he will call you tonight!” Later that night when Alex called, Caroline answered the phone and they had a lively conversation for about 15 minutes. He asked her about school, dance, and sewing, etc. and she was responding eagerly. She was so excited when she got off the phone that she immediately began drawing pictures to mail to him for his dorm room.
My two boys continue to text and talk to each other. But surprisingly, my 15 year old has also started taking an interest in his little sister. He asks her to go outside and throw the football, hit some baseballs or play catch. Before her soccer game he volunteered to take her outside to teach her some new soccer moves. When they sit down to watch a show together they take turns. Sports channel for a bit and then the Disney channel. With the craziness of college behind us, our lives have become a little less crazy. Last night we all sat down and played the game of Life (yes—it is still around and is even an iPhone app!) They bonded (we bonded) and had a blast. Of course they still have plenty of moments where they completely annoy each other but this is the first time that they are actually connecting on a deeper level. What a pleasant surprise. Although so much in our family is changing these days, I am excited to see how we continue to grow and evolve. Stay tuned.