When I was a new mom and my boys were much younger, I met a mom who’s boys were older than mine but about the same difference in age as my boys. I noticed her boys playing in the park together. They were laughing, playing tag and getting on like the best of pals. Her and I struck up a conversation and I asked her about the age difference ( 2 1/2 years) and if her boys always got along so well. Her reply was perfect and is seared into my memory. “They’re best friends and mortal enemies.”
It’s the perfect description. Probably for many siblings. But certainly for my two boys. It’s a line I’ve repeated many times when I’ve been asked that very question. “Do your boys get along?” I’ve witnessed this play out in many different ways. Playing with Legos together and then someone has the best “guy” and the other one wants it. Wrestling in the living room is fun – until it isn’t! And the dreaded, one has a friend over and the other doesn’t. (Although now that they are older, all of these issues are changing.) But no matter what happens between brothers, even if they are in the middle of a fight themselves (true story!) if someone else tries to mess with their brother, you can be sure that the other brother will not put up with it. The fight is immediately forgotten and they will join forces against the new “mortal enemy!” And this is how I know that they really do love each other! Phew!!
Just like these brothers – that I’ve known since they were babies. Here they are laughing (probably at me!) and having a great time!