When Daniel was born, I was worried about Annalivia being jealous. I had read a lot about older siblings and I was concerned. At some point, I remember my mother cautioning me that it was quite possible Annalivia wouldn't be jealous at all and that I should be careful not to project jealousy upon her that may not be there.
It turned out that she was right. Annalivia adored Daniel from the beginning. She was a little flummoxed by his crying, but she got used to that pretty fast. And in the intervening time, she has become his biggest fan, fiercest protector, and most worthy opponent.
As they've both grown in the last two years, it has been neat to watch them together. They do fuss at each other sometimes. And sometimes they both take delight in causing as much discomfort to the other one as possible. Annalivia sometimes is very bossy. Daniel is sometimes very manipulative. And they compete over absolutely nothing i.e. "I'm the leader today!" "No! I the leader today!" when it is clear that I am, actually, the leader! :) But for the most part, they play so well together and really, genuinely, have a great time together as partners and equals.
This morning after breakfast, I was cleaning up dishes and they were holding hands running in a circle with each other. Daniel was imitating everything Annalivia was doing, which made her laugh hysterically. I headed upstairs and they followed, holding hands. For a moment, Annalivia dropped Daniel's hand to get something to take upstairs and Daniel said, "Livia! Come on!" His voice was anxious; he thought she was leaving him for some other play. She said, "I'm coming!" and ran up to him. Then He threw his arms around her waist and said, "Love you, Livia" and she kissed his head. It was wonderful.
I am so glad that my children are friends with each other. I pray that will continue. I know that the path will not be easy or smooth, but I love, love, love that they see each other, at least once a day, as a real gift. I hope they always are able to see each other that way, despite whatever else has occurred in their lives. Because their doing so is a real gift to me, too.