Monday, August 24, 2009

Brotherly Love

From the moment she could control her eyeballs, Kendall has fixed them on her brother. She has always worshiped Kyle, though he has mostly stiff-armed her her entire life. When she was small, she found any opportunity to hug him, but mostly, he did not reciprocate. Oh, on the obligatory occasions (her birthday, Christmas) he let her embrace him, but usually, he returned very little affection. At times, he was even cold, angrily snapping, "Kendall, get off me!" in response to any bit of affection.

I noticed that she learned how to get his attention for "legitimate" reasons; a skinned knee, hurt feelings at school, a disappointment. At times, she even resorted to playing the "Helpless Female" card, simply to allow him the opportunity to showcase his muscles or demonstrate his "superior" intelligence. She has always given him the stage if he wanted it and has always been proud of her big brother.

Kendall's friends also adore Kyle; female volume levels always increase when Kyle comes home to girls in the house. He's the handsome, nice, upper classman. When the friends aren't around, though, Kyle has been cool towards Kendall. She hasn't let it get to her; she has always been happy to accept whatever level of affection he offered, even if that was limited to a grumbled "Good night."

They have bickered, of course, like all siblings. However, we have drawn the line at physical fighting, so that's never been an issue. We have had to admonish Kyle, though, at times, for just not being nice to his sister. I've often said to him, "You should be nicer to your sister; you might want to date one of her friends one day."

In the past year, though, things have changed; they've grown closer. He respects her opinion about a lot of things. I've seen Kyle let Kendall hug him almost whenever she feels like it. He accepts her affection with little protest, even letting her give him a back scratch now and then. He gives her advice about boys and attends her school performances (without complaint) and even gives her praise for a job well done. He's becoming a young man; a loving, kind, young man.

These days, my biggest complaint is that Kyle and Kendall get along too well. Sometimes, it's as if the two of them are twins, laughing and talking to the point of excluding all other company. We sometimes have a hard time getting them to settle down, and Mr.4444 often says jokingly, "Quit getting along!" They love to horse around; she regularly gives Kyle piggy-back rides, sometimes in public. (Taking those two to the grocery store when they are in a giddy mood can be maddening!)

Kendall will be a freshman this year, and her brother will be a senior. Like her veteran brother, she has joined Student Council. Like Kyle, Kendall has focused on working hard and getting good grades. Like Kyle, she has embraced all that school has to offer and is looking forward to the new school year.

Let's hope they save the piggy-back rides for the parking lot.

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