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Challenge: Raising Siblings

In times of laughter and in times of need, here's what I want for my boys as brothers

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I always wanted more than one child, but I never expected to have three kids so close in age. Seriously feels like I've been pregnant for five years, considering I have three boys under five – but I wouldn't trade our craziness and beautiful chaos for anything in the world.

Like most moms of multiples, I feared not knowing if my heart had the capacity to love another child the way I loved my first. But then came my second...and soon after, my third...and I only realized my heart had a way of expanding. More-so, however, I knew I had given my boys the greatest gift in the world: brotherhood.

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I want my sons to be best friends. All parents want that for their children. But as I watch and witness their bonds form – even at this early age – I have a list of specifics I sincerely hope for my boys, as brothers.

1. May they always have a secret language.

Sometimes, my boys will simply look at one another and start cracking up in laughter. It's as if they have a secret language. Their eyes will lock and they'll jabber back and forth; I really truly feel they're communicating in a way only they understand. I want them to maintain that secret brotherly bond that can only be formed by blood.

2. May they always support and celebrate one another.

I hope envy never enters their bodies. I want them to genuinely give one another praise when deserved. I want them to be one another's #1 fans (next to me, of course). I want them to always want the best for one another.

3. May they challenge one another.

In a positive way, of course. I don't want them to always agree on things-they are entitled to becoming their individual selves. However, I want them to engage one another; talk to one another about important things. In the case of a disagreement, I want them to fight nice; respecting and acknowledging one another's thoughts, feelings, and opinions.

4. May they help one another be better people.

I want my boys to offer one another guidance. I want them to bring one another up; when one is slipping, I hope the other will catch their fall.

5. May they be bad together.

I'm not referring to being dangerous, illegal, etc – rather, that rambunctious fun-type of bad. I want them to get dirty, party hard, and rebel together. Even if they get in a little bit of trouble, may they always be one another's partners in crime.

6. May they keep in touch.

Life gets busy. As much as I'm dreading it, time doesn't stop, and the day will come when my boys grow up and lead their own lives. When they become men, I really hope they stay in contact with one another – have weekly chats, or at least, texts. And when they do form families of their own, I want them to cherish the importance of staying connected, getting together on holidays, and remembering that family comes first. I hope they prioritize a sense of closeness and maintain their relationship.

7. May they be one another's best man forever.

Because I want them to stand by one another's side – not just at the alter, but in life.

8. May they always trust one another.

I hope they can tell one another anything. I hope they share secrets I don't know (kind of). I want them to confide in one another and trust that the other won't tell a single solitary soul. To be one another's confidant, comfortably expressing themselves to one another.

9. May they go to one another in times of need.

Without overstepping any boundaries, I want my boys to turn to each other if they need something: advice, money, a couch to sleep on, anything. I want them to find comfort in knowing they're never alone because they'll always have one another. May my boys never turn one another down.

10. May they always like one another.

There's a big difference between loving someone and liking someone. I know my boys will always love one another – love is somewhat obligatory when it comes to family. However, to like someone is much different. I want them to genuinely find friendship in one another. I want them to truly enjoy one another's company. I want them to want to hang out together. I want them to sincerely care for one another's well-being. They will always be brothers, but God willing, may they always be the best of friends.

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