When I was growing up, my brothers and I were close. Super close. We are six years apart, top to bottom. I am the first and the three of them followed. Here is the thing, I never really wished for a sister. Ever. Now maybe it is because I was selfish and didn’t want to share a room, or clothes, or toys. But I don’t think that is it. I was perfectly content having brothers because of how well we got along and how much I loved them. That hasn’t changed in the 36 years since number four was born. We are all still very much a unit. I love that.
After I got married, I had four children of my own. I can’t imagine the odds, but I ended up with the same family that I grew up in. I have three sons and a daughter. My crew is reversed, though. Our caboose is a girl. And I am so pleased to report that my kids are just as close, if not even a bit closer, than my family was growing up. It makes my heart swell a bit to see them all together.
Now before you start to imagine a perfect sitcom family from the 1950s, don’t be confused. We are not the Cleavers. We have our fair share of fighting and pouting and spending time in separate corners. But for the most part, we are a pretty tight crew. My sons are so close in fact, they share a room. And they are not little kids.
We live in a four-bedroom home, which meant that two kids were always sharing. Before we moved into this house, it was three kids and three bedrooms, so again, somebody had a roommate. That someone has always been my middle son. He never got a shot at his own room. House number one, there was a kids’ room and a nursery, he was with his big brother. House number two, the arrangements stayed the same and my daughter got her own room.
As my children got older, we did some shifting around. My oldest was turning 13 and wanted his own room. So he got it and boy number three moved in with boy number two. It was all fine and good … for about three months. My oldest son decided that he didn’t like having his own room. He had shared with his brother from the time he was four and he was lonely. The older two boys are best friends and he missed being with him. He wanted to move back in.
Now at this point, we had repainted and redecorated the rooms. My daughter’s nursery was converted into a teenager’s dream with flashing lights around the celling and a lizard tank to boot. She moved next door into her new place. The oldest guy started crashing on a beanbag on the floor so that he could get in on the nighttime convos and video game sessions.
We realized that maybe the move was a mistake and offered to give number three his own room back. He declined our offer. My baby boy wanted to stay with his brother. He liked sharing a room. We were at an impasse. Most kids argue over who gets to have their own room. Mine were fighting to share. I couldn’t believe that this was actually happening. No one was budging. And no one was sleeping in that other room.
The boys got online and found a three-person bunk bed that seemed to be the solution to everyone’s problems. My husband and I talked about it and realized that this wasn’t a problem so much that it was an incredible blessing. Our kids love each other so much that they wanted to be together. We weren’t going to argue with that.
The bedroom was big enough to accommodate this behemoth bed, I still don’t know how, so we waited for delivery. They picked out some coordinating bedding and looked forward to their new digs. The first night that we had it, my daughter who is five, was so excited that she slept in the beanbag. As a matter of fact, she sleeps in it all the time. She doesn’t want to miss out on any of the fun in that room either.
The room has become a hangout of sorts. The boys got a TV for their birthday, so they play video games up there at night or watch Netflix. My daughter will bring in her dolls and sit under the loft and play for hours. When I call them down for dinner, it is a quick yell to one spot because I know that they are all coming from the same place and no one will be left behind. I love it.
I know that this isn’t going to last forever. As a matter of fact, it may not last six months. My son is going to high school in the fall and I am guessing that he is going to want his own space back. Maybe I am wrong, but I doubt it. Until then, that room is home to his clothes and a lizard and the only bed in my house that’s made. It doesn’t bother me one bit. As a matter of fact, I take great pride and joy in it.
That may sound strange, but I feel like I have done something right as a mom. My kids love each other. You don’t get that in every family. Kids personalities are so different, even though they can be raised in the same home by the same parents. They just are. Sometimes those personalities don’t mesh and things can get ugly. Lucky for me, we don’t have that in my house. My kids get along great. They are best friends. Truly.
I hope that this love that they have for one another stays this way for many year’s to come. My dream is that they will stand up for one another in each other’s weddings and sit patiently by the phone waiting for a pic of a newborn niece or nephew. I want them to be present at graduations and birthday parties. You only get one family. I want mine to stay close.
As my children grow they will likely stop sleeping in the same bedroom. There will be a fight one day about who gets their own room. Maybe my middle son will fight the good fight and take home the crown. That remains to be seen. But while they are all in one bedroom down the hall, I will stop in and kiss four heads goodnight. I will take pictures with my mind of a time when they were innocent and sweet and replay them later in life when an argument arises.
You only get to share a room with your brother for so long. Soak it up boys! And may you always support, love, and comfort one another. And remember why you chose that three-person bunk, so you could have those late night talks with your best friends every night. Life is short and you are tremendously blessed. So am I.