Christopher is having a sleepover tonight. In Benjamin's room. They are allowed to sleep over in each other's rooms on weekends, when we're not quite as strict about their bedtime.
They have actually had sleepovers with each other for years now. When Benjamin went through his 'I-don't-want-to-sleep-alone' period two years ago, he spent the better part of a year sleeping on a mattress on the floor in Christopher's room. Not once did Christopher complain about his younger brother camping out in his space.
When we first had children, I wasn't one of those brave mothers who planned to have children close in age so they could grow up together. Not that I didn't want that - I just didn't really consider it. My own siblings are three and six years younger than me, respectively, and I always felt very much like the 'eldest' of us three. My brother and sister had more to do with each other socially, but I was older and had another group of friends. Thus, I never entertained the idea of having a sibling as a best friend.
Despite the three-and-a-half years between my boys, they have become very close, and the year in Norway has strengthened that bond tremendously. Benjamin worships his brother, and although Christopher can be frustratingly overbearing with his baby bro at times, he is generally happy to have Benjamin as company. They are very goofy when left to their own devices, but is there a lovelier sound than your children laughing and playing together?
Though the boys are as different as night and day, I catch myself imagining them as best friends even as adults, setting up house in the same town. In fact, in my vision, they live down the street from each other. And here's the kicker - in my dream, my house is on that street, too! Right in between theirs.
A mother can hope, right?