Brother Chatter

bekah Parenting Leave a Comment

It’s nights like these that cement themselves into my memory; ones that I know forty years from now, if I close my eyes, I’ll still hear their words, will still recall holding my breath as I lean outside the door; frozen so as not to miss a whisper coming from young boy mouths.

Brother chatter.


In the same room.

In their new bunk-beds.

For the first night. Together.

It had not been on the evening agenda. Leave it to their impulsive mother!

I mean, we just got the bunk-beds on Saturday. Thankfully Tanner’s buddies Wylan and Brenten have similar bunks and taught him some sweet  climbing moves to tackle the top. The first day was spent reading high off the ground, books piled everywhere, in his own world. It was precious. Even better, before bed that night, he requested Bryan make him a custom shelf near the foot of his bed with the words: ‘Tanner’s Reading Shelf.’ Pretty straight-forward. Mr. Matter-of-Fact.

But there was still Ty, and we figured it might be another twenty years before he’d be ready to transition from his cell, ahem, crib, and stay in a big kid bed for more than five consecutive minutes. On the outside I joked about the transition, but inside I contemplated getting my mom’s prayer chain going.

Which brings us to this evening. Bry was at church, I was getting them readied, brothers doing their typical run-down-the-hallway-“nakey”-before-putting-on-their-pj’s routine, then begging to read just one more book. I motioned Ty to the bottom bunk and half-jokingly told him it was time for bed.

That’s when I saw it: the exhausted look, the glazy stare that promises no fight, only bedtime surrender. God must have sprinkled exhaustion dust on his eyelids because at 6:30pm, I took advantage of the this-could-be-the-night opportunity!

For the first time I pulled a bed sheet over his thinned out, two-year old frame, Ty snuggling deep into the covers. Tanner scaled the ladder and popped his head over the side while we sang, then prayed; a ritual we’ve done thousands of times, but never all together.

Light off, door cracked.

I stood on the other side of their door, expecting shrieks, anticipating padded footsteps and airplane adorned pj feet. But in place of footsteps, I heard voices. The higher voice throwing his question to older brother on the top bunk.


Ty: Tanner, are there monsters in here?


Tanner: Giggle. Ummm… you’re okay. If there are any under the bed, I’ll get them.

Great! Don’t give him the idea that they are under the bed. Who’s letting these kids watch Monsters Inc? Oh wait…I cover my mouth to keep from giggling. My head shakes, grinning ear to ear.

Ty: There are monsters? Moooooooommm, I want to hold you. {In Ty language, that means he wants to be held}

Me: Enter room, assure boys there are no monsters and that in fact, Ty is more safe because his big brother is there to protect him should anything happen. We talk of the dark and shadow shapes, and that we don’t have to be afraid. Bottom bunk smooch, top bunk smooch, stroke Ty’s hair… Goodnight guys. You make my heart smile. I love you! I love you!

Hello again hallway. I stand outside the cracked door.

Ty: No monsters in here?

Tanner: Nope, there aren’t any monsters.

Ty: What’s that?

Tanner: That’s the shadow of the ladder. And there’s a shadow over there. You’re fine. Now, no more talking, it’s time to go to bed.

Ty: I see the moon outside!

The next moments were filled with laughter, burping, Tanner giving Ty a pep-talk about being a good listener the following morning when he stays with a friend so I can get my hair did.

Brother chatter between two and four-year old boys. Brother chatter at its best.

As I stood in the hallway, I prayed for the chatter, the late-night talks they’ll share, the whispered secrets and confessed dreams. There will be hours of silly jokes and vented frustration over their crazy, ridiculous parents. I so want them to be brothers that talk and encourage and listen and protect. They may not get twelve hours of sleep or their own closets, but they’ll learn to share space and words and opinions and dirty socks!

And I want to stand in the hallway, ten years from now and hear deeper voices belonging to boys that know they are unconditionally loved; not for anything they do, but simply because of who they are.

Our sons.


Keep up the brother chatter, boys!

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