Siblings Born Close Together Have Amazing (Sometimes Heartbreaking) Bond

There are times I look at my son and my daughter, born just 18 months apart, and get really jealous of what they have. No matter what, these two always have each other. Yes, they fight and they sometimes hate one another, but they will be one year apart in school, currently share a room, very often wear matching clothing, and do everything together. They think they will get married someday.

For someone like me who was eight years apart from my only sibling, seeing this sibling love and closeness is really amazing. This is why the story by writer Simon Stephenson in The Guardian hit me so hard. The writer was 16 months apart from his brother and the two were raised like twins. But he lost his brother in the Thailand tsunami in 2004 and everything changed.

Sometimes I worry that my two are too dependent on one another, but this story changes that. Stephenson says:


My big brother walked through the world ahead of me for a quarter of a century. He had a cowlick in his hair but could colour between the lines. He was devilishly handsome but a little shorter than me. He liked Bruce Springsteen but considered Bob Marley the king. He was afraid of nothing but spoke so softly that sometimes only I could hear him. He could throw a Frisbee for hours. We were the boys together and it is my eternal privilege to say that he was my brother.

It's a beautiful essay that Stephenson has made into a book called Let Not the Waves of the Sea. His love for his brother was worth it and helped shape him into the man he is today.

As I see my children grow up together, almost like twins, I wonder what they will be like. Will they go through a phase where they hate each other? Will they be as they are now forever -- close, bonded, more like twins than mere brother and sister? I envy what they have. It's special and beautiful.

My heart breaks for Stephenson, but I appreciate his words. They give me a window into what my own children feel for one another. His loss is unimaginable, but that love is beautiful and something only siblings raised more like twins can imagine.

When it's at its best, they have each other's backs. They stick together and support each other. No one messes with one without the other. It's the kind of relationship we all wish we had and they were born into it.

Stephenson was lucky to have had it for 25 years, and I believe that somewhere his brother is still with him in some way.

Did you have your children close like this? Are they incredibly close?


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