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The chapter of searching for a brother closed with a victory

My oldest, who was only three years old at the time, counted the tiny pink toes poking out from under the blanket as we placed our newborn in his brother’s lap and gave him a puzzled look. I gasped while holding my breath in fear of his response. He finally uttered his first words to his sibling while leaning near to the infant. I exhaled a sigh of relief as I held my breath. Because toddlers aren’t exactly sharing superstars, if the first thing he offered to do was share, perhaps this was the start of a lovely friendship. Sharing isn’t always the norm, of course. Now that they are both teenagers, we have welcomed two more brothers into their lives, making a total of four guys (and a lot of squabbling). They engage in regular wrestling, tackling and slapping, huffing and heaving. However, the tension quickly passes, and I’ll find them watching TV or using TikTok in a heap. Their intimate proximity—one having their head on the other’s shoulder and the other having an arm stretched across their back—reminds me of how twins are intertwined in utero. They prefer to sleep near to one another like they did when they were younger, bunching up in uncomfortable-looking positions on mattresses designed for one, even though they range in age from 16 to 9. They mercilessly make fun of one another about crushes, music preferences, and almost anything else. However, they are ready to defend one another if someone from outside their brotherhood dares to criticize any of these qualities. Evidently, they are free to exploit each other’s insecurities.

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