They say a picture is worth thousand words.
Something really magical is starting to happen between these two. I mean they've always been fond of each other. We never had issues with Christopher harming Matthew when he was born. He was never jealous or rough or angry. And thankfully, we've had nothing beyond minor squabbles since then. A stolen toy, an annoying foot that creeps into the other's space, a disagreement between Mickey Mouse or Thomas the Train. Kid stuff.
But something is starting to change. Matthew has been looking up to Christopher for some months now. Watching him intently in new situations, always a half step behind eager to keep up and aware of his big brother's reaction. I'm not sure Christopher really noticed until a few weeks ago, but he's quickly becoming the "big" brother. More and more often I catch him explaining things to Matthew, narrating what's going on, or grabbing his hand instinctively at the edge of sidewalk. He's watching out for him. Making sure he knows what's going on. Eager to help him learn new things.
And Matthew, bless his goofy little soul, is so happy to be growing up. He's talking all the time now. Yelling out the names (in a very, very strange dialect of the English language) of everything we pass by, and cheering on the "Haw Hawks (Seahawks)" with such gusto and pride. He's so delighted to be Christopher's friend and is constantly bringing him long-forgotten toys and showing him his favorite games on the iPad.
It's heartwarming and sweet and sentimental but it's also taken parenthood to an entirely new level. They are best friends. They're forming a connection I'll never truly understand. And while my overwhelming feeling is pride in their relationship, I'm also acutely aware that we are responsible for teaching them how to nurture and protect their bond. They'll grow up to be different people, with different goals and dreams and traits, but their brotherhood will always tie them to one another. I hope I'll learn, with time, how to step back and watch them when it's time to, jump in and rescue them when I have to, and learn from their interactions when I need to.