The Brotherhood Effect
I promise you.
You know how when you get together with a bunch of your bestest long-time friends you get inspired? You let your guard down? You let loose? You get all giddy and loud and are just looking with wide eyes for the fun out there just waiting for you to find it? The trouble you can find? The adventure? You are bubbling with excitement? Take that feeling right there you feel in your chest.
Take it and multiply it.
And then toddler-ize it.
There you have it.
The brotherhood effect.
This my friends, is a glimpse into my household.
My boys are almost 4, almost 4, and almost 3.
The closeness in age, I believe, intensifies the brotherhood effect. There are no mature older siblings to calm the rouse. To settle the adventure. To help make wiser decisions.
I am sure it is similar with brothers and sisters and especially with those in home with more than three kids. I only know the Bowman Brotherhood Effect.
There are two reasons I write this post today. One, to remind you to show me and other moms of little groups of people lots and lots of grace. Two, is to convince myself amidst the drama and wildness there is a wholehearted, filling joy my boys get to experience that will grow them into better people.
So, point number one. If you see a mom of a couple or few toddlers or babies and they are starting to get a little out of control, give her a ton of grace. Don't give her the stare. Don't ask her ridiculous questions. Remember she is outnumbered. She deals with this every single day, for years and years. No amount of discipline can truly calm this brotherhood effect once it has begun it's full swing. None. She is NOT a bad momma. She is not. Once one starts to cry, it is literally a chain effect. Once one gets riled up, it is a chain effect. If momma doesn't catch it in just the right exact moment on the first one, the train has left the station friends. The brotherhood effect. The brotherhood effect is feared in public places everywhere I go. Constantly. Please show grace friends.
So point number two. The brotherhood effect eventually can produce joy, lasting friendship, the ability to be selfless, share and be in a healthy relationship. Amidst the daily wrestling matches, toy taking, food stealing and meltdowns is growth. They get to experience life together. Grow and learn together. The chain effect of emotion is because they are so close they feel the same emotions and feelings at the same time or when their brother is hurting or mad. This relationship they have, although tumultuous now due to learning how to communicate well, can turn into something gorgeous and bright. If we parents truly cultivate it, brotherhood can become their greatest joy in childhood. These brothers will be lifelong friends and we get to watch that friendship grow. That wild and giddy feeling is every day. They are roommates. So mommas- when we experience the roller coaster of the brotherhood effect, let's just keep in mind all the positive things it can bring. The teachable moments, the deep joy and lifelong friendships that are forming. Let's show them how to use some self control at times and let loose when the time is right.
When the Brotherhood Effect is on the horizon, just remember the word GRACE.
Grace to the tired and weary momma who feels overwhelmed by it.
Grace to the brothers (or sisters) navigating experiencing this life together.
Grace to ourselves as moms that we are gently guiding them toward so many rewards in brotherhood.
Just like we do when my boys aren't getting along- let's all put our hands in and scream, "Bowman Brothersssssss!"
Honestly with love,
Proverbs 27:17 says, "Iron sharpens iron and one person sharpens the wits of another."
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” CS Lewis