Thursday, August 18, 2011

All loved up :: sibling rivalry.

One of the really nice things about Jack right now is his affectionate nature, particularly with his baby sister Nellie. This morning they were both on the couch as I put on my shoes  and he was very happy snugglng into her, rubbing his cheek against her head and giving her kisses.

Judging by his peers at kinder, it appears most three year olds have this affectionate stage, as I regularly see Jack and both his male and female friends exchange hugs and occasionally kisses when they greet each other in excitement. But my quiet joy is reserved for these spontaneous moments with his sister.

My husband and I made a conscious decision to risk having another baby because we thought it was important for him to have both the support and challenge of siblings. Our hope was that, as for all children, our siblings come to our defense and assistance when things are tough, but they also are our best competitors and push us to do better, harsh as that might sometimes be. Given Jack's CP, we thought it extremely important he not miss out on this.

Of course, early sibling harmony is not neccessarily an accurate indicator of the relationship later in life. My own relationship with my only sibling, Ash, has swung through the years from adoration as young children, to regular spats as teenagers, to prolonged periods of alternatively ignoring each other and arguments as young adults and finally one now which is of mutual respect and gratitude that we still have each other despite being very different people. It's still an argumentative relationship, which I regret, but it's a sibling habit with deep roots which takes enormous effort to change, and which we're trying to rein in now that he's an uncle.

Of course I hope that Jack and Nellie's relationship will continue to be affectionate and mutually supportive. I expect fights and arguments, but hopefully also spirited debates and encouragement. They might not be born from the same mold exactly, but they are more alike than any other people they will ever know, and I hope that link binds them peacefully for a long time.

No comments:

Post a Comment