The boys are assembling themselves, taking shape right before our very eyes.  Assembling themselves and each other.  As brothers, they do a lot of building, a lot of teaching each other, helping each other.  Only occasionally knocking each other down.

Tolliver is two and Tucker is five, and like relationships at any age, theirs tends to ebb and flow.  Right now they seem to meet somewhere in the middle of “help me” and "let me do it,” somewhere between "show me" and "get out of my way."  Tucker is patient, and Tollie is... not.  He is, like most toddlers, not interested at all in the business of waiting.  He realizes when he's been unkind though, and often in the next breath, words painted with regret, he says something like Hey, wanna follow my leader, bro?
They shape each other as much, maybe even more, than we shape them.  Tucker follows Tolliver like a trusted guide on daily adventures, his companion, his inspiration, his leader from dark to light.  Tollie learns from Tuck to be astonished, to empathize, to grow.  He also learns things like I've listed below, little "facts" I've kept track of on my phone as they've been taught:

Looking out the living room window: See, baby squirrels are called chickmunks - they grow for a little while and when they’re bigger they become squirrels.

Reading a book about ocean animals: A blowfish is one with sharp pokes all over it, like thorns, and it’s breath is so full of air it fills the whole guy up so he’s puffy, like a puffer fish.

As Tolliver came downstairs dressed for the day in a new tank top:  I like your shirt, bro.  It's like shorts for your arms, right.

From the back seat of the car, in the rain:  Hey!  Did you see that chickmunk go into that storm drain?!  Chickmunks can't swim.  Well, wait, maybe they can.  Actually, RoRo has a chickmunk diving board at her house, so maybe they can.

During winking practice:  No, that's not how you do it.  You have both eyes closed, buddy.  Listen, you just are supposed to close one.  Here's how you do it.  Instruction one: get ready to close one eye.  Instruction two: close it.  

These boys do some seriously good work.  Minus a few minor structural adjustments we ought to be able to help straighten out.


rht said...

For the record, chickmunks can swim. But not for very long.
(I did not have the heart to tell Tucker ALL about our chickmunk swimming pool.)

Christy said...

Oh my goodness gracious! They are amazing and adorable! So glad you took the time to record the precious things they say. I need to do more of that.