Nurturing relationships

Saturday September 7 2019


By Min Atek

Seated in the barber’s chair, I watched them quietly from the mirror. They were having a very pleasant conversation with bits of genuine laughter. Quite a sight if you ask me.

So, I quietly inquired from my barber whether it was mother and son. Then he said, “No.” I later discovered that they were siblings.
I marveled quietly. These were an interesting pair as I continued to observe from the mirror. I remembered my siblings. Two boys older than me. We were never friends. We had not been friends at all. My eldest brother must have had a soft spot for his baby sister but he did not show it.

It is only in hindsight, many years after his passing, that I read this compassion in angry acts he exhibited when he assured me he never wanted to see any boys around me. But this is a story for another day.
Then I thought about the two offsprings under my direct care and responsibility.

Four years apart, there is quite an interesting relationship to observe. When the young one was born, the older child was thrilled by its arrival.
Over the years, however, little brother has sometimes come off as a thorn in the flesh.

Little brother has grown a mind of his own and he is not as sweet and as endearing as when all he did was suck his thumb.
I went back to observing my unsuspecting specimen. The older sister was clearly fond of the baby brother. It appeared like there was a 12 or 13 year age difference, yet the conversation flowed very naturally.

Often big sister called little brother to show him something on the road. She joked and laughed with him.
Likewise little brother held up to the challenge. There was touch, closeness and a deep bond. It was undeniably present. A very pleasant sight indeed.
Many times, I have told the children that they are all they have got. I have advised them to be kind and gracious to one another.


I have shared that in a world as volatile and dynamic as the one we are in, relationships such as theirs are incomparable.
The bickering notwithstanding, I remind them to carry the other’s best interests at heart.

Although, I have not seen anything close to what I observed in the salon, I choose to believe my words will have great effect on their sibling relationship.
I believe they hold a strong bond and they will always have each other at heart.
We need one another.