I am finally seeing an evolution of a relationship between my two boys. If you have been reading my blog for a while, I wrote about a bit of a discord between Bailey and Bryce last year. It wasn’t on Bailey’s end, but rather his brother. Standing in his shoes, I get where he was coming from. The reality is Bailey gets a lot of attention due to having Down syndrome. The playing field will never be level. Bailey will always require more of us than Bryce. Intellectually he understood it, but he needed to walk through those feelings in order to get to the other side.
Going away to school allowed him to find his own identity. This summer, I am seeing a different dynamic. There is more banter, trash talking, and time spent together. Last night, we went to Bailey’s softball game where Bryce was his obnoxious cheerleader. Telling him to focus when he was up to bat. Calling him Addison, which is his actual first name, and during this process, Bailey gave him a subtle loving sign of the middle finger. The whole time, both are laughing. The fact that Bryce went to the game of his own volition, was a huge leap. He didn’t spend time on his phone and he actually watched the game. Progress, my friends.
I have always believed that the relationship between my boys is theirs. They don’t need me to get into the middle. They don’t need me to referee. They need me to step aside and allow them the dignity of figuring it out on their own. That is part of the parenting process. All it took was for Bryce to find his own place without the shadow of being Bailey’s brother. Their relationship is still evolving, but what a difference a year makes.