By Laura le Roux
Growing up, it was just my brother and me, and we fought… a lot. In fact, we spent most of our childhood fighting with each other. Once we had both left school, the playing field levelled somewhat and our bond strengthened and we became closer. When I had my first 2 children, their relationship was so similar to mine and my brother’s that I assumed that’s how relationships are with siblings. This all changed when I had my third child, who is 9 years younger than my first.
You would assume because of the age difference that, other than being siblings, they would have nothing in common. But the immediate bond that was formed between these two was incredible. You would also think that a 9-year-old boy wouldn’t be very interested in a newborn, but their bond was reinforced with every bottle Cameron gave Jack and every outfit he changed.
The relationship between these two boys has proved wrong many assumptions I had about siblings. It has also amazed me and shown me how incredibly strong this bond can be. Even though Cameron had never really been around newborns or babies much, he took naturally to Jack, wanting to be involved as much as he could. He was gentle, soft and kind. He rocked Jack, held him, made silly faces and as Jack grew older, he played tirelessly with him. He would throw the ball over and over; make funny sounds until he started sounding like a farting elephant and make aeroplane noises to help get Jack to eat.
When Jack gets upset, he asks for Cameron. When he can’t figure something out, he asks for Cameron. When Jack is having a tantrum and we can’t calm him, we call Cameron. When we fly anywhere, Cameron has to sit next to Jack and they spend the flight playing games on the iPad and generally being silly. When Jack visits his granny for the night, Cameron asks repeatedly when he is coming home; he buys treats for Jack, offers to bath with him and holds his hand to cross the road.
As close as I am now to my brother, our bond is nowhere near as strong as that of my two sons. Where the one goes, the other one goes, despite their age difference. Cameron understands Jack – he speaks his language. They are almost each other’s comfort blanket.
This isn’t just a little brother looking up to his older brother – this is a bond between two boys that is unbreakable. The ties that bind them are more than blood. As their mother, I am in awe of their relationship; in some ways even a little envious. It’s something that has developed naturally, which is what makes it more beautiful. Watching their relationship strengthen and grow over time is probably one of the best things about being their mother.
“Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.” Marc Brown