Smelly Socks: Missing Adam

March 7, 2013 at midnight
Updated March 6, 2013 at 9:07 p.m.

"Sometimes being a brother is better than being a superhero" - Marc Brown

Charlie has never been alone. He's been Adam's constant companion, partner in crime and sometimes his adversary, since the day he was born. And even though they are opposites in many ways, they do actually get along.

For example, Adam is the Lego builder; Charlie is the destroyer. Although Adam is the gentler one, Charlie is the more emotional one, at times crying and being angry at the same time. They are opposites yet they complement each other.

It doesn't hurt that Adam serves as translator when sometimes even we can't even decipher what Charlie is saying. Whatever Adam likes, Charlie likes. If Adam is into knights or ninjas or cowboys, so is Charlie. I suppose that's how it is when you have a big brother.

When Adam started going to afternoon kindergarten school every day last fall, I was a little concerned as to how Charlie would handle it. Would he be lost? Would he be like "woo hoo?" In the beginning, he seemed to be OK with it, loving the attention he was getting from me.

He enjoyed playing on his own, making up his own scenarios with his cars, having a snack that he picked out and not one that Adam picks out for both of them and getting to watch the shows he wanted to watch. After he was done playing, eating and watching TV, he'd go down for a nap and when he awoke, Adam would already be home.

However as of December, he's stopped taking naps, and I've noticed a little change in him. It's not that he's more tired; it's that he seems lonely. It was just recently when Adam had already taken off for school and I was busy cleaning, when I noticed Charlie sitting quietly at the top of the stairs. I asked him if he was OK, and he answered yes.

I felt his forehead to see if he had a fever, but he didn't. I asked him all the usual questions to figure out why he looked so forlorn and finally asked him what was the matter. He looked at me, with little pools of water in his eyes and the corners of his mouth turned downwards, and said, "Me miss Ada." (Ada is what Charlie used to call Adam before he could pronounce his name). "What do you mean you miss Adam?" I asked.

"Me miss Adam," he repeated, and then he started to cry. I tried to explain to him that Adam was only going to be gone for a little bit, and then he'd be home and they can resume their Lego building or sword fighting again. After a few tears and a few minutes he looked to be OK.

I was a little stumped as to why he would feel sad now and not in the last few months. But Charlie is a man of few words, and sometimes only he and Adam, being brothers, know why the other feels the way they do.

I asked Adam later that day, why he thought Charlie was upset at him not being there and he explained, "Mama, he's my brother. When we're not together, we miss each other."

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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