A Brother’s Keeper

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“When I look at you, I see the story in your eyes.  When we’re…dancing…”

My husband and I look at each other  not sure of the lyrics, and then we look at Bobby who sings a little louder for us,

“The night BEGINS to SHINE.”

Declan sways and bobs along in his bed.  No beat was missed.

He loves a bed time song.  We sing one to him every night.  For the longest time it was “You are my Sunshine.”  Then he wanted to hear us sing “I Had to Say I Love You in a Song” by Jim Croce.

Now, his favorite TV show Teen Titans, Go!  has brought the song The Night Begins to Shine  by B.E.R. ( found here) into our world as his favorite bedtime song.  The problem?  My husband and I only know a few words.

And so we look to our 10-year-old son, Bobby, for help.  Again.

I love Bobby for the awesome individual he has become.  I love Bobby for his conversation, his humor, him being a helper in all situations in the community, home and at school.

And I love the big brother he is to his little sister and brother.

Bobby laughs and plays with Declan.  He sleeps in the same room with him every night and faces the 2 AM wake up calls first.  Bobby holds Declan’s hand in the community.  He puts Declan in his car seat when we drive places.  Bobby helps to decipher Declan’s words when we cannot figure out what he is saying.  And he helps us sing the lyrics to a new bedtime song we do not know the lyrics to yet.

Declan has left the house unattended without my knowledge.  I was terrified and frantic in trying to find him.  Where was he?  Sitting in the street, waiting for Bobby’s bus to come home.

When Bobby does come home, Declan is ecstatic.  He will talk to him, pinch him with a smile or run and jump up for a hug.


Declan loves and values his relationship with his brother very much.

Bobby was 6 years old when Declan started to have problems.  The problems Declan faced were not problems that only Declan faced.  Or Declan, my husband and I.  The entire family faced them together.

I have said it before.  Declan would go into crisis and we would have to leave an area or situation.  We could be at a bounce house, a party or Chuck E Cheese.  My husband and I would have to get Declan to a safe place.  And we would have to ask Bobby and Catelyn to get their shoes on, put their snacks or tokens down.  We had to leave.

Neither Bobby or Catelyn allowed resentment to sink in.  They did not blame their inability to play or bounce on Declan.  Declan’s behavior was scary and concerning, and they were concerned.  Instead of blame, they helped.

Bobby is our oldest.  He is a helper by nature.  Bobby’s love and help as a brother is so special and valued by everyone in our family.

There are a thousand ways I can tell you how he helps and another thousand ways that I do not even know.

But one for sure.  If you ever run into Bobby and Declan in the community just follow Bobby’s lead.  He will show you how to communicate and play with Declan that Declan enjoys.  Brother knows best!




9 thoughts on “A Brother’s Keeper

    1. You have said how important she was to your family dynamic. How wonderful for her to be able to come and see your daughter and her younger sister, and to phone every day!

  1. That is very heartwarming. I’m not sure children understand just how important a good support structure is until later so it’s lovely to see your children involved in one now. My boys are ten and five and though they argue they couldn’t love each other more and miss each other when they are apart.

  2. Yep! I was my little brother’s defender in life while until I left for college out of state back in 1991. Standing up to bigger kids on the bus was about a daily proceedure for me. Didn’t change when he grew to be taller than me, I still knew how to take punches better than he did. Thankfully my baby brother could defeend himself. Was generally worn out by the time he started getting in to trouble, because my little brother was my first priority.

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