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Siblings as Friends

Emma and Rex. Rex and Emma.

I’m convinced they were meant to be a pair — like matching socks. But thankfully, they were merciful on my nerves and arrived three years apart, rather than at the same time.

Whenever I was pregnant, I dreamed of the new baby as its own person. I rarely considered the relationships the new baby would have with members of the family. When I watch Emma and Rex together, however, I can’t imagine I never considered when Rex was on his way that his sister was about to gain a best friend — an extension of herself, even.

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They are each other’s first thoughts. If Rex wakes up first, his first question is always, “Emma? Where?” If Emma is the early bird, she isn’t happy until she can go into Rex’s room to coo and giggle at him.

When Rex lists the members of our family, Emma is always first, and her name always invokes the biggest smile.

If she’s at preschool or a friend’s house, he begins to get lonesome for her after a while, and starts wandering around the house calling her name. Ultimately, he comes to me and asks, “Emma?” It’s always disappointing if I have to answer that she won’t be home for a while. But if he asks at the right moment, I can tell him we’re on our way to pick her up. And then his adorable body crouches down and bounces up repeatedly, his hands waving in the air while he shouts, “Emma! Emma! Emma!”

When Emma is sad, she reaches for Rex, and will end a crying fit as soon as his arms are around her neck. She thinks everything he does is adorable (she’s right), and the mere mention of his name causes her to light up with joy.

She is his protector and teacher, taking his hand whenever we’re outside. She cautions him about the dangers lurking throughout our world. “Don’t go in the street or else you’ll get dead,” she explains.

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“Rex, this is a ga-RILL-a,” she patiently enunciates, just one of many moments she takes to teach her brother something of utmost importance.

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They are each other’s confidantes, regularly taking time to snuggle and be still. He strokes his stuffed dinosaur while she tells him about her favorite stuffed animals.

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She is patient when he’s grumpy, pulling out all the stops to encourage a shift in mood. He plays the same role for her in her moments of frustration.

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Rex and Emma. Emma and Rex. The greatest pair I never knew I needed.



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  • Linda March 1, 2016, 10:57 pm

    So sweet. Does a mother’s heart good. You just have to wonder what kind of a pact they formed before this earth. So glad they found each other.

  • Emily March 1, 2016, 11:28 pm

    Love siblings as friends!