July 6, 2009

My Two Smalls



I don't have siblings, and thus am completely fascinated by the idea that the quintessential experience of Lara and Jake's family life is something that I can only vaguely guess at. I can predict the certainty of joys and frustrations of needing to carve out a niche role in the family structure; of navigating the complexities of sharing and the ins and outs of mine, yours, ours; of the stresses and victories of inevitable comparison. It reminds me a little of the thoughts I had when Lara started nursery school - that she was about to start her own life, with a daily set of experiences that I would not share. But this time my exclusion is so much more profound because even with constant presence I cannot really know what it is like to have a brother.

Right now Lara's relationship with Jake is heavily imitative of our relationship with him. For instance, he hates the car with a passion and her responses to the stress of his screaming are filled with the vocabulary I have given her (partially in an attempt to keep it neutral, but still give her room to complain). Already though they are forming their own connection. She keeps a close watch on me as we leave the house to make sure I haven't forgotten any of his accouterments. And yesterday in the car we were treated to a vision of the future: "Hey that's my toy! Daddy that's mine! Jakey touched it!" "Honey, that's ok, it's still your toy." "But he already touched it with his hand!" Of course, in order for him to have reached it in the first place, she must have been putting it in his hand to play with.