The three of us, kids and I are alone in the apartment. I'm in the bedroom folding and sorting laundry, making the bed or some other random and mundane chore. From the living room, I hear giggles and snatches of conversation. My mommy antenna pops up. I sneak to the door and slowly extend my head to peek into the living room. Two dark heads are bent over a book. One with black, straight, closely-cropped hair; the other with dark brown curls tumbling in an unruly mass over forehead and neck. Unasked by me, of his own volition, he is reading to his sister. He points out objects and calls out their name. Car. Bus. Apple. Baby. She repeats the words after him. He puts down one book and picks up another. And then another. She is engaged and amused. Every now and then he says something that both find acutely funny.
The sheer beauty of the bond between brother and sister is second only to the bond tethering parent and child.