Brotherly & Sisterly Love

Oh, the happy sounds —
siblings playing, enjoying
the too brief cease-fire.
My 9-year-old girl, AP, recently returned from a week of sleep-away camp. Given I am prone to extreme bouts of separation anxiety, I did remarkably well. She, of course, was entirely nonplussed by the whole affair… with perhaps one surprising exception: I think she really, really missed her 5-year-old brother.  When we all arrived to get her, she hugged him first, picking him up and holding tight. He hugged right back, also clearly having missed her. He continued to get hugs, while I’m not sure she even looked me in the eye.

On the 45 minute drive back home, the two shared camp stories (sleep away versus zoo) and every once in a while, she would tell him that she loved him… and a few minutes later, unprompted, he would do the same.

It was really lovely. You often wonder if your kids like each other, let alone love each other. They seem to rally at critical moments (thunderstorms, injuries), but the day-to-day usually seems to lack attachment. So as we were driving home and I was hearing this delightful sharing of fun, this obvious connection to each other by two beings who will ultimately know each other longer than they will know me and Frank, I couldn’t help crying. (Yes, I cry at everything…but this was really sweet.)

And then, later that afternoon, I felt like Marlin, Nemo’s dad, who after happily following the bright light in the darkest depths of the ocean, finally sees that the light is connected to rather a lot of teeth:  “Good feeling’s gone.” The love between brother and sister morphed back into  the usual picking and poking and bothering within a remarkably brief period of time.

Oh well. At least I know the affection is there. That’s enough for now, I suppose.

Leave a comment


  1. A true and sometimes confusing trait for brothers/sisters to show. I have three kids, two of which have had good reason in the past to not have much affection for the older third. But, unappreciated by the third, the other two move in on the defence if he is getting a hard time from parents or friends. That’s family, hopefully it stays that way. Bruce

  2. What a sweet story! I would have cried, too. 🙂

  3. asignoflife

     /  July 5, 2012

    That sounds a lot like my brother and me. Although I will never forget the time when I was seven and he was five, and he stood up to a couple of bullies picking on me. For the scrawny blonde shrimp that he was, it was very courageous and sweet of him.

  4. Robert Gregory

     /  July 8, 2012

    I don’t even have kids and I would’ve cried. 🙂


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