Hey Brother

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Hey brother. Hey brother. Hey brother.

Wherever our two brothers roam, these words show up. Spoken from the mouth of the oldest, they are words meant to unite them upon observation of an interesting thing or participation in a daring act. They are the words meant to allow the oldest the joy of inviting another to take part in shared delight. They are the words our youngest have heard from day one as the main words of orientation around this new and foreign world before him.

They usually come in repetitions of five or more because the youngest either hears white noise due to their regularity or simply to attest to the power of the youngest’s focus on what is before him. But eventually they catch his attention (spoken right into his ear with oldest waving arms before his face) and upon registering the invitation, the two brothers become one being.

Running races every morning from Karen & Jim’s driveway
to Katherine’s and back, all the while as the mother’s song,
“look down the driveways,” comes echoing forth

Collecting pinecones on walks as “research,” adding them
to our display on the window sill of our front porch.

Spying the couch and making a joint attack on it
in order to claim it as their territory and new launching pad,
much to mother’s displeasure.

It is in this brotherhood that they are learning life’s most important lessons…

  • community demands taking turns, even when you found it first
  • fun is made even greater when it is shared
  • anger does not justify damaging the relationship
  • there are times that resources cannot be distributed equally
  • there are boundaries to personal space
  • when one makes a bad choice, we all lose
  • there is great power in feeling another’s support for being brave
  • lessons are meant to be shared, preferably over fruit snacks in the car

I give thanks for the small moments… getting out the door in the morning to school, dinnertime at the table, walks along the way, routines of snacks and bedtime… and for the big moments out in the world… scary times like starting a new classroom or beginning soccer practice or facing the moral test-center known as the local playground. “Hey Brother” invites them to be for one another their greatest teacher, confidant, partner, and friend.

Thanks be to God for the voices that unite us.

Hey Brother, are you ready for another day of adventure?

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