I am a midwife. I have been there as many women met their second (or third or fourth) child. So when I was pregnant with my second (and third), I never doubted that I would love them as much as I loved my first child.
I saw mother after mother fall madly in love with baby after baby.
While I didn't fully understand it—because nothing prepares you for the love you feel for your children— I trusted that it would happen.
What I was not prepared for was the heart explosion that happens when you watch your children fall in love with each other.
You know how good it feels when you introduce your work friends to your home friends... and they like each other? It's kind of like that, times 1000.
When your favorite creatures on earth, who you absolutely adore as individuals, recognize the amazingness in one another... well it's just awesome.
In the hecticness of life, it's easy to get swept up in the details and miss these precious moments. But when you can step back for a minute, the moments of sibling love will take your breath away.
It happens in subtle ways and monumental ways—but every day, it fills me with joy.
They protect each other
They are quick to go to battle with each other over a stolen container of Play-doh, but heaven help the kid on the playground that picks on one of their siblings. My eldest is very quick to remind me when I have done something unjust to one of the younger ones—“Mo-oooom, you told him he could have a cookie when we got home from Target, and we're home now."
They are a village. They truly want what's best for each other (except when the other one actually has a cookie—then it's every kid for themselves).
They teach each other
They are constantly observing each other. I notice them adopting each other's mannerisms and repeating things that I definitely did not teach them.
Each of my kids is as different as the day is long. And I love that about my little crew. They each have their gifts, and the others benefit tremendously from the lessons they teach, every day—
My eldest teaches them to be sensitive.
My middle guy teaches them to be brave.
My youngest teaches them to be patient.
Even when they don't get along (which is a lot), deep down I am actually okay with it. They are my little bear cubs fighting with each other, and it's teaching them how to deal with conflict in a healthy way. They're learning to stand up for themselves and work out problems—they're learning life skill lessons with their teammates.
They have fun together
There is nothing quite like watching your kids catch the giggles together. It can get a little loud, yes, but it's so heartwarming to see them make each other laugh (usually over something completely beyond my boring grown-up comprehension).
They invent games, watch movies, build forts, blow bubbles and sometimes just wander around the backyard together. Built-in buddies for life.
I worry a lot about creating fun for them, about making magic that they'll remember when they're grown. But the truth is that the real magic happens in the nooks and crannies of our days, when they are given the chance to just be in each other's presence.
When I turn around and see all three of them huddled over the same book. Or when I look in the rear view mirror and see them making silly faces at each other. Or when they hold hands and all shout “1-2-3!" before jumping in a pile of leaves. That is the stuff.
They'll take care of each other
No parent wants to think about the time when we are no longer on this earth to watch over our children. But it gives my heart peace to know that my kids will have each other. With luck, the bonds they are forming now will last a lifetime, and in that way, I'll always be with them.
Our little piece of the world is a far stretch from the Pinterest-esque existence I imagined. There is often at least one person crying, a seemingly endless cycle of losing shoes and losing patience, a fairly constant din of chaos.
But the absolute bliss of witnessing the love between my children makes every second of crazy worth it. I love my little unit more than I can describe.