Once, when the oldest boys were 2 and 3, we got this idea that they needed alone time. We decided that Daddy would take one boy and I would take the other and we would go our separate ways and do something special, give them some one on one time.
It failed miserably. They cried something awful when we separated them, and they spent the entire "date" being teary and wistful in a "wonder what brother's doing?" kind of way. We haven't tried that since.
My guys are best buds, giggling and whispering into the night, wanting to all sleep in one room even though they each have their own. I love that.
They are a team. If one has lost a privilege for some reason, the other two will stand in solidarity with him. As in, "fine, if brother can't go, we aren't going either!"
They are generous with each other. My oldest spent months memorizing verses to earn "shares" to spend at the Awana store. When he had saved up a sufficient amount, he spent it ALL on his brothers. He bought them play doh and bubbles and balsa wood planes. He didn't buy a thing for himself.
They help each other. One of the coolest parts of homeschooling is seeing the older two help Ryder along. They are gentle and encouraging to him. He counts on his brother's wisdom and values it in a way that is so neat to watch.
Now don't get me wrong, they bicker on a near daily basis, but when push comes to shove, they are tighter than tight.
And that makes me both terrified and overjoyed.
Terrified because I can see already that the teen years are going to be tough if they decided to gang up on their poor old Mom and Pop. Why am I imagining two of them distracting us while one sneaks off with his best girl?
But then their relationship gives me so much comfort too. It makes me so glad to know that as they grow, in those times when they don't feel like talking to Mama or Papa, they have a brother at their side, you know?
I love knowing that no matter where they wind up in life they have a friend that knows them intimately and loves them completely. Someone who has shared their life and will stand with them whatever may come. A brother. Better still, TWO brothers.