Rowan is Shay's sidekick. He absolutely ADORES Shay (he adores Ciaran too - it is just a little different). You know how it is with siblings - you have a different relationship with each one based on dynamics, personality, interests, etc. I think Shay/Rowan's connection could have something to do with the fact that Shay is a bossy boot and Rowan is a bossy boot - which makes the two of them two peas in one pod. I think that Rowan looks up to Shay as "the" big brother (because Shay so easily fits the role as he constantly taking charge, telling everyone what they need and need not do, and ultimately he thinks he is the man in charge in the family).
Where ever Shay is in the house at any given time, you are more or less guaranteed to find Rowan nearby. He has the tendency to plop himself right center in the middle of Shay's universe any chance he can get. This is evident in the picture that I took today of the boys' playing at the train table as well as the two other candid pictures taken in the past of the boys.
I've always said that there is something magical about Rowan's presence in our family. The day he was born, everything just felt right. It was as if God gave us this 'old soul' to fulfill a new and needed role in our family dynamic. We have had many clear and powerful reminders along the way of this....and tonight Cris and I were given just one of those reminders whereupon we were both completely taken aback as we witnessed the power of RAW brotherly love.
Rowan is 22 months. He is an intuitive being. He is aware of everything going on around him. He is a wise soul. Tonight we were in the family room watching a video before bed, when we announced to the boys that it was bedtime. Immediately, Rowan stood up and took a look around. Next thing we knew, he ran out of the room and returned a minute later with Shay's walker. He wheeled Shay's walker directly in front of his chair and positioned it so that Shay could pull to stand in his walker and proceed to his room for bedtime stories. This intuitive act of kindness and love was not initiated by a request, by guidance, nor even the mere mention of Shay's walker.
Rowan owned it.
At 22 months, he knows deep in his being what exactly his brothers' need and he has made an unspoken commitment to look out for their best interests even though he is their much younger brother.
Witnessing this action really, really pulled at my heart stings tonight. It provided such insight into the human spirit or more importantly into how exposure leads to knowledge, to acceptance, to unconditional love despite one's age. You see Rowan idolizes his brothers. They are his heroes. All he has ever known is Ciaran and Shay requiring their walkers for mobility purposes. The walkers are seen for what they are - to provide function for the boys. Rowan doesn't see the walkers as obstacles, nor does he see his brothers as different. He seems them for who they truly are - loving, caring, gregarious young boys who love life and are just like any other typical kid - what a gift Rowan has been given to have this knowledge at such a young age. My biggest hope is that Rowan will always be such a loving, empathetic soul who intuitively understands the needs of others especially those of his adoring brothers.