When my mother-in-law had to stop driving because of her macular degeneration, she gave her car to my two college-age kids to share. So even though they live at Snowstorm University, both kids can drive home whenever they want, which is pretty often. My Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter will appear when I least expect it, sometimes waking me up late at night to talk – and then laughing at me in the morning because I don't remember the conversation. She volunteers at the Women's Shelter on Saturdays, and will stop here afterwards to go through our cupboards and take food back to her apartment. Boy in Black will stop home during the week after a drum or guitar lesson, or he sometimes comes home on the weekend if he doesn't have an Ultimate Frisbee tournament.
I think my youngest two boys love having their older siblings home so often, but they don't actually feel the need to say so aloud.
The other day, for instance, I was sitting on the couch in front of the fire when With-a-Why came home from school. He smiled when he saw that his oldest brother was home, but did not even say a word to him as he went over to the refrigerator to get something to eat. Boy in Black, sitting at the piano, said nothing either but in a few minutes, he began playing a Bob Dylan song I recognized, All Along the Watchtower.
When With-a-Why wandered over near the piano, Boy in Black nodded to him, and moved over on the piano bench. Without a word, With-a-Why slid into place next to his big brother, and his fingers began moving over the keys. Sometimes with three hands, sometimes with four hands, they played the familiar tune together. Their posture was just the same as they sat together on the bench, long hair hiding both their faces, their heads close together, sunlight falling on the keys and on their hands.
The song ended with all four hands, all twenty fingers, moving rapidly over the keys. The brothers grinned at each other. Then Boy in Black went back to his Organic Chemistry book, and With-a-Why went over to dump papers out of his school backpack and find a form he needed me to sign.
These two brothers have never needed words to communicate.