And they do really love each other.
Sure, Alex loves it when Ben is in school all day and he can play with whatever car or toy that he wants. Or crawl in my lap and not get pushed out.
And yes, Ben eats up the individual time he gets at Grandma's house because little brother isn't quite old enough to spend the night away yet. Or getting late night sweets like ice cream or cookies after Alex has gone to bed.
But they also love to chase each other around the house squealing at the top of their lungs. They like to splash all of the water out of the bath tub. They love coloring together at the kitchen table. They giggle insanely while making silly boy noises at dinner. They enjoy tickle wars. They share when they don't think I'm listening. They conspire together on new ways to drive me crazy (I have no proof, but I am quite sure on this one). Ben quickly comes to Alex's defense when playing with his friends. Alex lights up and streaks for the door when I tell him it's time to pick up "Brubbie" from school.
Yes, they love each other. And that makes my heart big.
I hope they will continue to grow and nurture a strong brotherhood bond that will last them far into their adult lives.