Brothers in arms

Rowan has taken to carrying his baby brother around the house by hooking his arms under Isaac’s armpits and sort of goose-stepping him forward. It’s a good thing Isaac loves it, because he has absolutely no choice in the matter. He’ll be sitting there, absorbed in a toy, or crawling along happily, when Rowan will swoop down, scoop him up, and drag him away. “I’m helping him walk!” he says, and, indeed he is: Theo’s feet and legs start going crazy. (For those of you familiar with Ian Falconer’s Olivia books, think of Olivia moving her cat. That’s what it looks like.) And the two of them march off together, the big one cooing, the little one grinning madly, forming an eight-limbed mass of childhood symbiosis. “See ya,” we say.

(Okay, we don’t say that — we follow the two of them closely, calling out, “Don’t go too fast!” and “Okay, gentle! Put him down gently!” and “Not on the stairs!”)

I can just picture the same dynamic, applied to different situations. In about (kill me now) 14 years, it’s going to be the car. Rowan will have his (hopefully heavily graduated) driver’s licence, and he’ll scoop up his bro and the two of them will drive off to get Slurpees, the stereo blasting, Isaac grinning madly, Rachel and I standing in the driveway, calling out, “Careful!” and “Don’t go too fast!”

I love that they love each other. More than almost anything, I want them to love each other. I just hope they don’t kill each other — or me — in the process.