Sunday, March 22, 2009

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

I have been thinking a lot about my kids lately. A lot of it has to do with the fact that they are so grown up. It seems to have happened all of a sudden. Of course, Brandon is 21, and has been (officially) an adult for quite a while, but suddenly Alex has developed all kinds of grown-up traits. His social life is much more exciting than mine. His phone rings more than mine. When did this happen?

I think I'm also feeling a bit melancholy about the whole family thing right now. I'm trying to connect with my birth mother, and hoping that somewhere there might be siblings for me, too. I think having brothers or sisters is a wonderful gift. I think I've mentioned before that when my parents died, it was the most alone I've ever felt. I have a brother, also adopted, but we are not close at all. When your parents die, if you have a good relationship with your siblings, I think you can help each other through it. That wasn't my experience, unfortunately, and I have always wished that I had a sister.

When I had kids - more specifically, the second kid - I was determined that they would have a good, even great, relationship - even if it killed me. I know that parents have a lot of wishes for their children: that they will grow up to be kind, honest, loving people; that they will be good citizens; that they will put you in one of the nicer nursing homes someday. But more than any of that, I wanted to make sure they'd be there for each other forever, even after I was gone.
I think, from what I've seen so far, that things are working out pretty well. My boys love each other unconditionally. They don't always agree, but they know they can count on each other when the chips are down. They'll never be all alone in the world.

In my 'scan all the old pictures' project mania, I've found a bunch of pictures that make my heart all squishy.

This is what they look like now. Long haired freaks. I just love them to pieces.


When Alex came along, Brandon forgave me for having a boy. He had been hoping for a girl, and had planned to name her Carolina - no idea why. We didn't tell him we were planning Emily for a girl!

When Alex was first learning to 'talk' he would babble at Brandon more than anyone else.


I always reminded Brandon how much his baby brother needed him to show him the ropes, and he was so patient with him, even when he was messing with his toys.



I could have taken this picture a thousand times. This is what happened at every dog sled race and on every training day. "Pull me!" is all Brandon ever heard.



See why I tortured them with matching pj's on Christmas Eve? How cute is this?


This is how you keep a couple of kids busy when you're painting the house. Brandon was in on the secret, but Alex really thought he was helping.


The birth of the love of video games, captured on film for posterity. The funniest thing about this picture is that Alex, who is clearly having a blast, is holding a controller that isn't plugged in. He had no idea. This picture still makes Brandon laugh like crazy.

This is an ongoing activity - the "I can squeeze you till you screech or puke" maneuver. It happens all the time - today even. I don't care. They're hugging. I love it.

One of many first day of school pics by the lilac bushes. Alex was too little to go yet, but he wanted to wait for the bus with his brother.

Homemade costumes. Gotta love 'em. Alex's tiger costume was made for Brandon when he was little, and they both wore it for at least two years each. Brandon's wizard costume was decorated with spray-on glitter that ended up all over me, my car, my house, and the cat.

A rare sighting of both boys wearing suits and ties. Thank heaven I have this record, or I wouldn't believe it myself.


I love this one, with Alex clinging to Brandon for dear life. Don't worry, he'll take care of you!


That's what brothers are for: to hold your hand and walk beside you. It's about all anybody needs, isn't it?

22 comments:

claudia said...

All of these pictures are so precious. I only wish that my girls could be this close. They fight like cats and dogs. Oh wait! My cats and dogs get along really well. My girls fight like...um...sisters! I hope against all hope that they will come to some understanding before I go on my way to another world!

Odette said...

These are the cutest pics EVER! I have a brother and we're not exactly close, although I'd like us to be. He has his own ideas. So you are very lucky that your boys like each other as much as they do!

Vegas Princess said...

These pictures are the perfect documentation on what being a good brother is all about. So heartwarming! I especially loved the third and fourth ones and the Christmas one, but my favorite has to be the last one. That shot is just perfect. Their relationship is special and they are lucky to have each other. I wish I was that close with my brother.

kim-d said...

Those pictures are absolutely wonderful--even the "long-haired country boy" (remember that Charlie Daniels song?) picture!

All of the thoughts that you expressed about siblings...that is EXACTLY the same way I've always felt, always. Except I specifically wanted a sister, a sister who had the same mother as me. Yeah, I know...I'm pretty specific in what I want.

Oh, ME, when your parents die all kinds of things just don't seem right anymore. I could write a whole book right here in your comments about it, but I know I don't have to because you know exactly what I'm talking about, unfortunately.

This is why we, those of us with no siblings to speak of really, have friends...

Tonjia said...

I love the last picture! If I had some sense after I had Breanna, I would have had another, so she wouldnt have to be alone, but it didnt happen.

Not that I wanted to have another child with my ex, I should have found another sperm donor. LOL

your boys are adorable. I can tell how close they are by looking at their faces, every single picture reflects their love. thats awesome.

for a different kind of girl said...

Those are all such great photos, but I think that last one is my favorite! How fantastic that they have such a friendship in addition to a brotherly bond! I was out with my camera today, hunting my boys in hopes of capturing this day in the life with them. They are nearly 5 years apart in age, my oldest will be 12 in August, but they seriously are best friends, and my oldest remains ever patient of his younger brother to this day. Every year, I wonder if this will be the year one of them decides they don't need to constantly hang around the other, but then they go and prove me wrong. I love it!

Robin said...

love these pics! i don't think i could pick just one for a favorite..but the look on alex's face when he's "playing" the video game is priceless - just pure joy and happiness. so sweet! i've said it before and i'll say it again - you've got yourself two good looking boys. do i see some native american in there?

jojo said...

you made me cry...I am so desperately trying to hold on to my siblings and this just made my heart ache a little for all that we have lost.
Beautiful pictures, beautiful boys...great job mom.

Scriptor Senex said...

What a brilliant set of pictures. And I do so love the idea of the game controller that's not plugged in! No wonder Brandon still laughs.

Barb said...

Aw. This post made me really happy. I really love how you turned your own loss into something so positive for your kids. I guess that's what we moms do, huh?

Laura ~Peach~ said...

awwwwwwwwwwwww wonderful brothers...as you know one huge motivating factor for me in searching was growing up knowing that i had older half siblings... i was not sure if there were three or 4 of them turns out 4 were born one died very young and i have 2 older half brothers and one older half sister and one younger full sister... Even though things have turned out as they have... I would not trade them for anything I do wish we were closer... as 2 are in texas one in missouri and one in south carolina ...but the knowing.... is priceless and I hope that one day you get that.

I have no idea what or why your bio mother is choosing silence if i were to guess I'd say you are like me a skeleton in the closet and shes desperately trying to keep that closet door closed. Makes me sad for her in a way as she is keeping herself from a special woman and grand sons and in a different way I am very selfish and cold and say it is her loss and you will be better off not having someone who has more power to cause pain than even she knows... anyway God Is in Control.

Under the Influence said...

So sweet. Thankfully, my three boys, so far, seem to get along well, too. Hopefully that will last a lifetime!

Alice said...

Can I tell you what posts like this do to a pregnant woman???

Lovely post. I have been blessed to have a wonderful brother, so I know how special this bond is!

c3 said...

Fabulous photo essay. Loved it!

Midwest Mommy said...

Oh I love all the pictures! It gets me all sappy inside thinking that before I know it, it will be me scanning pictures from now when my kids are all grown up.

katy said...

Great pictures. You should use them for a slide show for their graduations and weddings.

Becca said...

Oh my heart is squishing with yours. We have decided to only have one and sometimes I wonder if that is a good idea...

gin said...

this was so good. You are a great mom!!! I am just like you!! i treasure those times when our 3 were younger. They are all in early 2o's now. I even tell them that they are will be brothers and sisters for ever and i will do what every it takes to keep harmony and peace and love. But I must admit they are pretty close and hang out together even now with their spouses even when we are not around.

Proud Mom said...

So, ME, you're saying that there's hope for my two rivals? If Birdie had it his way he'd be an only child! Nut, on the other hand, forgives all of the wounds of sibling war and can move on without plans for revenge.

There are days that they can play so well, but most days it is uuuuugly!


p.s.
sorry about the job. It was meant to be... The best is yet to come.

Mrs4444 said...

Loved this photo story...awesome. They will always have each other (and you, of course :)

~*amber*~ said...

Aww, those are all so sweet. Love the one of them holding hands and walking 'away'. Really cute. I am glad that they get along so well and I hope they always do.

Mine argue a LOT right now, but I think it's the age and the gender difference. Hopefully the outgrow that and learn to be there for one another.

Lanny said...

Oh my goodness...so stinking CUTE! My Linus can get Lolly to laugh more than anyone else. It's so sweet to sit back and listen.
Emily is a great name, btw! ;)