It isn’t always obvious but our two youngest children do actually love one another.
Neither of them will ever admit it, of course. But every now and then it shows.
Toby and Kara are very different characters. Toby is quiet, unless you get him talking about cars, football or the London Underground, in which case good luck stopping him. He’s a socially awkward loner who is comfortable in his own company. Much like his father, in fact.
Kara, on the other hand, craves social contact. She’s loud, confident, gregarious; she demands attention. Pretty much everything her father isn’t, in fact.
The two are like chalk and cheese, oil and water, Tom and Jerry, Trump and modesty. Put them together and, 90% of the time, World War Three will erupt within two minutes.
Here’s the funny thing, though. Take their elder brother out of the picture and the dynamic between them changes completely.
Isaac has been away on a Year 6 residential all week, forcing Toby and Kara to spend five days in each other’s company. It’s been like watching two completely different children. They’ve watched TV together. Played games together. Good God, they’ve even spoken to each other.
Now that Isaac is back, I expect normal service will soon resume. But it’s been lovely to watch the entente cordiale while it lasts.
Such moments of sibling affection between Toby and Kara are rare – but they do happen. The photos here were taken during our recent European road trip. The two of them sat on a wall happily chatting away and sharing a pretzel. They walked arm-in-arm while Toby (our resident human sat-nav) showed Kara where we were going on the map.
It’s nice to know they do actually love each other. Well, at least a bit. I doubt either of them will every say it openly but sometimes actions really do speak louder than words.
I’m reminded of the old Madness song It Must Be Love:
How can it be that we can
Say so much without words?
Bless you and bless me
Bless the bees
And the birds
I’ve got to be near you
Every night, every day
I couldn’t be happy
Any other way
Little known fact: it’s actually a cover version. The song was written and first performed by Labi Siffre, who is probably best known for his 1987 anti-apartheid anthem (Something Inside) So Strong. Siffre himself makes a cameo appearance in the video for the Madness version (at 3:22).
Oh yes, that reminds me. Toby is already showing a tendency for filing away useless trivia such as the above. I wonder who he gets that from?