She watches them out of the corner of her eye. Two boys – one older, one younger – blend into the crowd of children running, dancing, and playing among the families, couples, and friends who have gathered in the park for the summer concert.

She watches the boys with her head half toward her friend who is commenting on the weather, the band, or the crowd. But she is not really listening. She is captivated by those boys.

They cavort with the other kids, caught up in a rowdy game of tag or some such childhood sport. The younger one struggles slightly to keep up with the older kids, always a step or two behind, but he perseveres by intently studying and following the older boy’s every move.

The band switches songs and plays louder. More children collect toward the front of the stage, but the two boys continue their game of running and chasing, running and chasing.

She watches as the younger boy momentarily gets lost in the throngs of children. He scans the crowd, first with annoyance and then with increasing panic. Now paralyzed with fear, the young boy is swallowed by the mob of children. He calls out once, twice, then three times – not for his parents, but for the older boy. His head searches the crowd, quickly turning left, then right, then left again.

Just when she is about to swoop in to rescue the younger boy and thwart any potential tears, the older boy emerges. He holds out his hand to the younger boy and guides him out of the fray. He gently places his hand on the back of the younger boy’s neck. He leads him out of the frenzied maze of dancing children.

She keeps watching the two boys. She is fascinated by the two boys. In fact, she can’t look away from those two boys – her boys.

She watches and she hopes…that years from now, when their worlds are wider and more complicated, they will remember that they were each others’ first friend, ally, leader, and protector…

That when they have jobs, families, and kids of their own, they will continue to call to each other amidst the chaos of their daily lives…

That when their problems consist, not of skinned knees and broken toys, but of financial struggles, career setbacks, and relationship challenges, they will continue to hold out a hand to each other…

That when they are confused and hurt and frustrated and lost, they will be the first one to guide the other to safety…

That they will always – always – be more than brothers.

 “Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.”
― Marc Brown

My Boys
Photo Credit: Kathy Fischer Photography (




  1. You hit my heart spot. At 13 and 15 that same flash of fraternal protection emerges, usually when they think I’m not watching.

    • randomreflectionz

      I’m glad to know that it continues on into the teenage years.

  2. This brought me to tears – and the photo at the end? I am fully crying. I have the same thoughts about my girls…

    • randomreflectionz

      Awww. It really is such a complex and beautiful relationship, isn’t it?

  3. Oh, beautiful boys! I only have one, but he is my first and the big brother of his three sisters. They all adore him, as do I. Lovely post!

    • randomreflectionz

      Thank you. All sibling relationships are something magical, complex, and beautiful.

    • randomreflectionz

      I think the same is true for all siblings – whether brothers, sister, or brother/sister.

  4. Oh, so special! I feel this way often about my two children, as well! It is such a special relationship that we start but probably won’t see to the end. You captured it beautifully.

  5. Sweet, Christie. Great images. I love the hand on the back of the younger brother’s neck. This made me a little bit sad for my niece, now 10. She has yearned for a little sister, or even a brother, she’d have been happy with either, but it was not to be. They tried everything. She has even spoken about it in these 3 weeks she’s been with me. And here I am with 5 sisters – her mother one of them. Fortunately my niece makes friends easily. And so there, your post has me rambling, a testament to its success.

    • randomreflectionz

      Thank you, Stephanie! What a poignant comment. Your niece is awfully lucky to have such a caring aunt to spend this time with her. Perhaps you are a pseudo-sister to her?

  6. Awww. I love this. It remind me of my kids and my own siblings. I have the same hopes that my children will always be there for eachother!

  7. Oh I loved that!!! Yes yes yes!!! My sister and I are so very close at 41 (me) and 39 (she). We call the other first. We love our boys equally. I love nobody else (besides my son) like her, and she would tell you the same.

    • randomreflectionz

      That is just great that you have such a good relationship with your sister.

  8. Oh I loved this! It was beautiful the way you wrote it from an “onlooker” perspective and THEN revealed that you were the mom. I am a mom to an only and though I am happy with our decision, this sure tugged at the “oh I wish she had a sibling” strings! Thanks for sharing – and your boys are darling!

  9. There really is something so special about brotherly love, and you captured it so well here.
    What sweet kids you have!

  10. I couldn’t help wondering if my mother ever felt this way about my sister and myself. I find myself wishing she did. What I remember about our relationship as children was all fighting, but maybe I’m wrong. As adults we do much better – we’d be much closer if we lived in the same state.

    • randomreflectionz

      That’s funny you say that because my boys certainly do bicker (some days more than others), but the good stuff always stands out more than the bad stuff.

  11. So sweet! My boys are thirteen and almost-eleven and they’re still crazy about each other; the major shift is that sometimes the younger one will help out or protect the older one, which is hard to anticipate when they’re little. Wonderful reflection on your guys and that photo is priceless!

  12. This gave me chills. I had a moment yesterday with my girls, who are 11 and 14, where I was just caught up in their interactions and their relationship. I can’t believe I’m reading this post after that. Just to give you confidence in your boys’ future, I overheard them talking about how they would be each other’s maids of honor. My heart swelled. Ellen

  13. Awwww… You did a great job of capturing one of those parenting moments where you love them so much you feel as if your chest might burst. This was great. And what beautiful boys!

  14. This is a gorgeous post, and exactly why I can’t wait to be able to give my little one a sibling. Very, VERY well done 🙂

  15. I keep telling my girls that you can never have too many sisters – that they will someday be best friends, their everything. If only we could guarantee this would come true 🙂

  16. So beautiful! I like the way I didn’t realize they were her kids. My boys are 15 and 7. Right now they annoy each other but I’m hoping later they’ll be best friends!

  17. You got me – tears down my face and a knot in my chest – I pray for the same connection between my daughters. A beautifully written, touching post. I loved it!

    • randomreflectionz

      Awww, thanks. It means so much to know that this post touched readers in some way. Thank you for your kind words.

  18. A lot of parents have multiple kids for exactly this reason. I’m sure that isn’t why you had them, but your post makes it clear why that motivation exists. That bond can be so strong.

    • randomreflectionz

      Thank you! My boys certainly spend a fair amount of time bickering too, which might be why tender moments like these really warm my heart.

  19. Tears. Lots. The picture at the end just pushed me over the edge!
    So well done. Loved the image of the older boy on the younger’s neck. That’s the line that got me. Something about a boy using a gentle hand melts my heart.

    • randomreflectionz

      Oh, my. I am so humbled. Your kind words mean so much to me. And you are right – male gentleness is a soft spot for me too.

  20. I had three brothers growing up and we would defend and protect each other to the death. This type of love never fades away. Wonderfully written.

    • randomreflectionz

      Thank you so much, Bill. That means a lot coming from such a great writer. I really admire and enjoy your blog.

  21. Beautiful story! It must be so neat watching the friendship between your boys grow.

    • randomreflectionz

      Thank you! It is wonderful to see. Moments like this seem to erase all the times that they are bickering over a silly toy or something else.

  22. Hello. I’m a bada**. You are not allowed to make me tear up. This. was. SO. good. I was hoping they were yours from your first words. So poignant and well written. Kudos.

  23. You have spoken straight to my heart. And I am wondering, could I link up to this post through my blog?

    • randomreflectionz

      Thank you! And of course! I would be honored if you linked to my post.

  24. I’m the mother of two boys and I love watching them when they’re not seeing me watch. It’s sort of lovely, their give and take. Sometimes, of course, when others are watching, they do what I call “performative brothering,” which is sort of showing off about what great brothers they can be… funny.

  25. A very beautiful and evocative piece of writing. It caught me from the first line.

  26. Pingback: Blogmas 2012: Motherhood is a Strong Emotion | all.things.fadra

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