Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Big Brother Being

It's hot. For the some of us who revolt at the winter months, this weekend has been a god send.

Sure it's come with extra bugs in the house and needing to remember where the sunscreen is, searching for the clothes you wore last summer and thinking, what the hell was I thinking. But it's awesome. And for relief it also comes with trips to the pool.

This afternoon after school we packed the kids and a friend up and headed down to our favourite pool for our first early evening cool off for the year.

After a lovely dip I jumped out and lay down in the shade watching them play and jump and splash. I grabbed my book and started reading. As a side note oh my how lovely it is now that everyone can swim comfortably and I only need to look up every 5 minutes not every 5 seconds.

After I'd read a whole 5 pages I lifted my head to put my eyes on the boys. And straight away I saw Jack. He was bouncing around at the top end of the pool but seemed perplexed. Then I saw Hamish and the friend at the other end. 1..2..3 all accounted for.

But I didn't put my nose straight back into my book, I looked back at Jack wondering what he was doing.

And then I realized, he couldn't see his brother. He was bouncing to get a better look at the heads in the pool trying to see where he was. Finally he caught him in his sights, relaxed, and slowly paddled around by himself again. He didn't rush up to play with him. He just needed to know he was ok so he could go back to what he was doing.

It's another one of those 'raising siblings' things that as an only child my brain can't process. I felt in equal amounts, pride and concern.

Proud that he is the kind of brother that wants to care for his little brother. The kind of person that at 10 and being in the middle of something he is enjoying still thinks of others. And concern that that want to care is stopping him being able to be carefree.

It's normal, I know that, but understanding that sense of responsibility at such a young age is foreign to me and leaves me with so many questions.

Will this tendency help him in life, yeah probably, but I find myself wondering, will it also hold him back? Will he learn the balance between giving, but not so much he gives more than he should? Will he resent that he feels this way? Will he retaliate at some point as he breaks free from a pressure he may feel? Will he notice that his little brother doesn't have the same need to make sure he is ok? If he does will he resent that? Or is it just maybe a totally natural normal healthy and lovely part of being the older brother?

It takes a village they say, to raise a child. I didn't ever think that maybe part of my village would be him.

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