Finn and Rhys have been inseparable for the last year, mostly due to lockdown. Rhys loves being with his big brother. Finn seems to enjoy having his younger brother Rhys with him for much of the day, but Finn is working though how to get space when he needs it.

I think an arching theme for both of them is figuring out how to be individuals and be in relationship with one another. I see Rhys as a good advocate for himself, willing to do what Finn wants in exchange for time together, and a live for being really goofy with Finn.

I see Finn as being patient, a deep thinker who takes his time finding the right words to say, and a willingness to work with others in exchange for allowing his ideas for games and play to go first.

I say exchange, but what I mean is they have figured out what aspects are important to them as individuals, and areas they are willing to give for their brother. I’ve been watching them figure out the ins and outs with each other. It is the area where I’ve seen them grow the most since we started unschooling.

As much as I love witnessing their process, I’d say it’s been equally challenging. First I had to learn how to back off and allow them to define their relationship to one another. Second I had to allow some very uncomfortable arguing between the two of them. Third, I had to keep the long game in mind as small shifts occured over the span of several months. These changes were small and oftentimes went unnoticed until I was able to look back and connect the dots.

I think they are at a point where they are beginning to appreciate their own differences. I am both so proud, and a little surprised at how much work it took for them (and me) to get here. It’s the perfect reminder that life is not about the end goal, but the journey.

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