Thursday, November 23, 2006

Close Ties

It's a boy's house here in Bradyland. His brother Michael, seven years his senior, has been a constant source of companionship for Brady. Brady watches Michael every time he enters the room and keeps his eye on him when they are together. In the car, suddenly the windows are nothing to be enamored with; he keeps his eyes on Michael whether Michael is talking or not. (the "or not" part is very seldom, I have to say) He will pay strict attention if Michael is yelling or getting yelled at. Clearly, he is the favorite.

Michael is no different. "Tell Brady goodbye" and "Give Brady a hug" are what he says when he leaves for school every morning. He walks in and wants to hug Brady when he comes back in the house. He will sit and play with him and constantly wants to hold him. Over a year now and the newness has not gone away like I sheepishly thought it would.

My kids were "supposed" to be four years apart so when this seven year age difference happened I was concerned there would be no childhood together for these two kids. Will they have the playtime together? Will they share the sibling-hood that I want them to have? When Brady will be Michael's age, Michael will be off working at an afterschool job and running off with his friends.

I am the middle of three kids -an older sister and a younger brother. We are all four years apart. When we were little, we played together. Over my childhood years, it was first my sister and me, then all three of us, then my brother and me. I don't think the "all three of us" lasted that long, because my sister was by then old enough to go off with her friends. We did have some fun, like hang my brother from the laundry chute at my grandmother's house. As soon as she graduated from high school she went to college across the country.

So then it was just my brother and me. We set up Fisher Price peoples, play baby wiffle ball in the backyard (I was Sammy Jo, the amazing pitcher), watch TV after school (1/2 hr of Tom and Jerry, sometimes a full hour of Charlie's Angels). When I got my license I would bring him with me to get movies or to hang out with my friends. He was old enough to hang out with us, but young enough to be the "adorable little brother".

But at the holidays it was just thre three of us. Having moved away from family when we were four, eight and 12, we had come to rely on each other in a special way. Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, when other friends visited extended families, we would be with each other and our parents, playing games, eating, watching TV, relaxing. Christmas Day we would wake up and have all day to open presents and play. We had each other to be with and to goof with. The year we all got radio/tape recorders, (the 8600) we spent the day taping each other and singing into the tiny built-in mic.

That's what I wanted for my children... the camraderie, the closeness, the playfulness. I wanted them to have the memories I have, that special bond. I worried for awhile that I wouldn't have that for Michael with Brady having WS. I am a nut. I know as Brady grows he will be nothing but a constant sources of happiness for Michael. He already is.

Update: Since switching to 1/2 Enfamil, 1/2 Calcilio a month ago, Brady's calcium levels have dropped. He went from a 11.6 to 10.8. Yeah!


Nancy said...

What a wonderful story! Michael has grown up in the months since I have gotten to know your family, and he is so handsome!

My little brother and I were close growing up, too. We were 2 years apart. We didn't really go our separate ways until junior high or so, and that's probably because I wanted to be my own woman! He is in LA now, and I miss him terribly, although we seldom see each other or talk. He does read my blog!

Happy, happy Thanksgiving.


Lisa R said...

Those are the best pictures...My sister and I are 23m apart shesh we still fight sometimes LOL...I was worried that Emma and Tatum were almost to far apart 2yr 9m but I am thinking that it is a good age. Ahe is also always giving kisses and being the good sibling...aren't siblingss cute at every age :)

Kati said...

My brother and I were 9 years apart... I'd like to play with him but he was a 'big boy', but he had to babysittering me a lot of times :DDDD We are good siblings, meet every week. I think I wouldn't be myself if he wasn't my brother...
A note: in hungarian language there is a beautiful word for sibling: 'testvér', which means: body and blood, I don't know the origin of this word (maybe it is because siblings are in the closest biologically relation in the world...)
Love, Kati

Teresa & Shawn said...

The boys are so cute together. I love the last photo. I can't wait for Jamie to have a brother someday!

Angela said...

Hi, Kerry! It's your cousin Angela from St. Louis (Steve's daughter). I just thought I would comment on your latest blog. (My grandma told me about it, and had me find it for her). Dominic and I are 7 and a hlaf years apart, and that little boy was my world. My grandmother loves to tell everyone about how after he was born, I would cry when anyone else wanted to hold him, because he was "my baby." We had many years to play together, and even when I got tired of the games and grew older, I would still play just to spend time with him. I drove him around when I turned 16, and spent more time with him than I did with any of my friends. In fact, the only time I've noticed the "newness" start weaning is now that he is 16, and wants to run off with his friends. But he still comes to me when he needs advice, and sometimes, we still do goofy things that we did when we were younger. This past weekend, we played with Kinex. It never goes away, and quite honestly, I've been happier with our relationship than most of my friends who had siblings closer to their own age. My friends have all thought at one point or another that we were either lucky or weird to not have sibling rivalry, and I've thought they were all nuts for exactly the opposite.

Kim, Grandma to Ava,ws said...

You are very blessed that Michael is such a wonderful brother to Brady. My kids are 7yrs apart. My oldest never wanted anything to do with his brother, and I still grieve over that. They still are not close. FYI, our Ava's great-aunt was also WS. She had two brothers. One was quite disinterested in her. The other, Ava's grandpa, was crazy about her. They did all kinds of fun stuff together...movies, basketball games, watching auto racing. And this continued until Paula died this spring. She was 57. I expect that Michael's devotion to Brady is going to be a lifelong gift for them both, and for you as well. What a blessing.

Jen Z said...

This is a great post... I love reading about you and Kathleen and Josh.

I'm really looking forward to meeting Brady one of these days!