Had a chat with someone I met while in Texas for a series of incredibly meaning Philosophy of Childing events. She has two young kids.
Her kids right now compete for her attention — that’s how young siblings typically are. If one gets a gift, she the other has to share; and she praised her oldest for so willingly doing so (and by the kids’ ideals, they should both get something more or less of equal value and quantity).
She stressed they also love each other to pieces, even if and as they have spats, like fighting over toys.
My own daughters resemble this, I told her. And they love love love each other, and are their fiercest defenders. I have every reason to be they will be bestest of friends, and one anothers’ keepers, confidants, supporters, throughout their lives, no matter what slings and arrows, triumphs and setbacks, come their way in their personal and professional lives.
And then the mother of two young ones said to me, “My best friend is my brother. That’s why I wanted to have multiple kidsI wanted my kids to have someone they could always count on that wasn’t me.”
I had the same wish when Ceci and I decided to have another child (or try to have another) — it would be the opposite of what I ultimately have experienced with my own sibling, but that did not put a damper on this desire, hope, expectation of mine, interestingly enough (and why would it, with the extraordinary oldest daughter I have — and now with a joyful younger sibling that she loves with all her mind and might).
Can you choose your brothers in any respect? Do they have to be of ‘blood’ or of your immediate family?
Can you adopt a brother of a different mother, even as an adult — someone who has the qualities and who demonstrates with consistency the kinds of honorable and even noble actions of what this woman described that her own brother has? If you can, then I do have brothers, not related by blood, who have been there for me through thick and thin, just as I am there for them, just as I tried to be for my own sibling.
Shakespeare wrote: “We came into the world like brother and brother, And now let’s go hand in hand, not one before another.”
Though they are brothers of a different mother, rather than my own older blood
brother, I will ideally exit this world hand in hand with them.