Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Best of friends

When my oldest son was a toddler, my father got him a little boardbook which told a story of a baby's day, playing, eating, etc. and the last page had a picture of the baby with a friend and a caption read  "best of friends, let's play again tomorrow".  It was no great work of literature but my son really loved that book and asked us to read it to him over and over and over again until both my husband and I knew the whole thing by heart.  So it became kind of a family joke, whenever the kids would do anything or have an interaction with someone which really examplified true friendship, we would quote that line, "best of friends, let's play again tomorrow".   We had many occasions to speak to our children, especially our oldest about what true friendship is and what true brotherhood should look like.  We try very hard to teach our children to be good to their siblings.  In our house, meanness to a sibling is considered almost a cardinal sin, it is simply not tolerated.  So I think, that years of this sort of "propaganda" has paid off, B"H( thank G-d) and they really do have a great dynamic going and they get along well for most part and are caring to each other. Even though we do have times when they fight like cats and dogs, in the end the balance is regained and they return to the "best of friends" mode.  I see it particularly with my oldest two boys.  They are 15 months apart and are as different as night and day.  Both very special but very very different from each other.  If they weren't brothers, I am not sure if I would envision them ever becoming friends.  But they truly are best friends, in a sense that their connection to each other is stronger than it is to any of the friends they've made a connection to this far.  Because of their small age difference in some ways they are almost like twins.  They don't remember life without each other. I am always moved when after an argument or when one of them feels bad, the other will try to comfort his brother.  I love how they lean on each other for support or plan things together or just talk things over before they drift off to sleep.  Sure they fight and sometimes there is a certain feeling of competition but in the end the love and the camaraderie win over and the other things don't for long overshadow their special relationship.  I guess there is a reason why people say things like " I love so and so like a brother".  There is something about this deep kinship that can be very strong and awesome and enduring.  Sometimes I could have a very hard day and they didn't behave as well as they should have but when I see them being good to each other, it warms my heart and makes all the hardships worthwhile.  It helps me understand G-d's point of view better too.  If we are good to each other, than He will be willing to overlook some of our shortcomings.  I hope the boys will continue in the same direction and I am beginning to see something like that developing between the girls as well, but they are younger so it's too early to tell.  But when I see the whole crew getting along well and playing together or showing special sensitivity to each other, I call it a very good day indeed, even if nothing else of substance has been accomplished.  I hope this love and brotherhood and friendship will continue to enrich their lives and they will continue to be best of friends and playing again tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.  What else can a parent really wish for?


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