I write a lot about my daughter, Shae, on this blog. I suppose that’s natural, as we spend so much time together and share many common interests: fitness, healthy food, blogging, writing, photography, nature, and more.
And as she is just like her father, she and I are quite compatible. While I enjoy discussing my plans and sharing my feelings, Shae gets things done without discussion or fanfare. She is sensible, straightforward, and laser-focused, while I tend to be more emotional, people-pleasing, and…well, a bit scattered.
(Unless I have a list. When I have a list and a schedule, I am fairly unstoppable.)
As Shae has gotten older, our mother-daughter relationship has deepened into friendship. And for that, I am most grateful.
But my boys are just as integral to my life as Shae is. Aidan, who is sixteen, and Rowan, who is nearly ten, share many of my personality traits.
Aidan is a quieter sort than I am, but in nearly every other way, he is wired so like me that I can often sense what he’s thinking without his saying a word. During a family conversation, our eyes meet sometimes with a certain look, one of mutual understanding.
We connect. We get each other.
And Rowan is my mini-me. In his face, as well as in his habits and speech patterns, I see a reflection of myself. He is an emotional little fellow, full of ups and downs. He has strong likes and dislikes. He is artistic and creative, sensitive and sweet. He craves approval and wants to fit in with those he respects and loves.
Fortunately, one of those people is Aidan.
Until recently, the age gap between my sons seemed too great for Aidan to make the effort to bridge. But I talked with Aidan several months ago about the importance of brotherhood. Aidan had the opportunity to be a good brother, one whom Rowan would want to respect and emulate. Aidan could find common interests with Rowan, and support Rowan in his own. Aidan could influence his brother for good.
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. – I Timothy 4:12
This spring, Aidan has put all of these suggestions into practice. He has made his brother a part of his daily life in a new way, playing with him nearly every time Rowan asks, whatever game Rowan wants. I have watched from the window as Aidan has rebounded the basketball for his brother and helped him practice catching a baseball. Aidan has allowed Rowan to watch him during his gaming or programming sessions – times Aidan holds dear.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another. – Romans 12:10
And because Aidan is just like me, I know this is a sacrifice for him at times. He would be happier in solitude, more productive if he spent all his time on himself.
But just as I have learned about the value and fulfillment of serving and giving as a mother, so he has learned these lessons as a brother.
Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. – I Samuel 18:3
My husband and I have been pleased and blessed to see both our sons grow and benefit from their strengthened relationship.
More important, we know that God is pleased, as well.