Smelly Socks: Brothers, best friends and partners in crime

By Anita Spisak
Sept. 20, 2012 at 4:20 a.m.

City Life

One day a while back, Adam and I were talking and he told me that he wants to live with us forever. I told him that someday, he'll meet a nice girl, get married and he'll live with her in another house.

Of course, that's too much for a little one's mind to process so he replies, "No, Mama, I want to marry you."

I told him that I'm already married to Papa.

He then proceeded to tell me how we're all going to live together - Papa, Mama, Adam, Charlie, Linus and Lucy - forever.

As a mother, you think about what you want for your children as they get older. At least I do.

I imagine them as young men, what they'll be like as teenagers, and finally what profession they'll go into and whom they'll marry and what kind of lives they'll lead.

Above everything, I want my boys to be good, honest, and truly happy with whatever professional and personal road they choose in life.

About two years after we had Adam, we were contemplating having another child, either naturally if possible or by adoption. We knew our odds weren't that great given our history and our age so we gave ourselves a timeline and decided that if it didn't happen by a certain date, then we would give up and be a happy little family of four (yes, I was including Linus, our dog). I really didn't feel the desire to get pregnant this time. I didn't particularly like what it did to my body, I didn't miss the sleepless nights, or the unknown cries of what this baby was feeling. So, every time my husband brought up the "maybe we should try for another," I dismissed it with "I'm happy with just one."

One thing, however, that he kept telling me was how glad he was to have his brother and sisters around when his father passed away a few years ago. Joe comes from a family of four children and they are all over the place not only in their locations, but in their ideals and beliefs as well. Not everyone gets along all the time, but at this time of sorrow and heartbreak, they had each other to lean on and to remember the good times with their dad. He told me he wanted Adam to have that same kind of support system in his future.

Being brothers doesn't necessarily mean that they'll be close. I see many examples in my family and my husband's family where, just because you're siblings, no matter how different or the same you may be, you just aren't meant to be friends. I want my boys to be friends despite their opposite personalities. I know that they'll have their ups and downs and disagreements. But I will try to instill in them, as they grow, that not only are they brothers but they are each others' friend and protector.

Adam and Charlie are as different as night and day but I love seeing their relationship evolve daily. When Charlie wakes up from his nap, the first think he asks is "Where Ada?"

He relies on his older brother for help in doing things and copies him from his silly dance moves to how they blow bubbles when drinking their milk with a straw to being partners in crime.

Many times out of the blue, Adam will tell me, "Mama, Charlie is the best brother I ever had." Considering he hasn't had any others, that's a big statement.

So then after we had Charlie, our little family was complete. I think back to my husband's comment about having his brother and sisters there for him at his father's passing, and I feel better knowing that when that sad and unfortunate day comes for my boys, they too, will have each other to lean on.

Anita lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two boys and two dogs, one of which is a girl. Email Johanna Bloom or Anita Spisak at



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