My husband and I were nice enough to give our oldest, a girl, a younger sister. Into this sibling M has had a place to put into effect all her "mothering" instincts I was never able to do with my younger brother. And believe me I had those instincts as well!
One example of my frustrated efforts: my brothers were playing around one day and - as often happened - my younger bro got hurt. He was about eight at the time (I think) and still small enough to fit on my lap. So I sat him down, put my arms around him, and tried to get him to tuck his head into my shoulder. You know, as a child would it's mother. To my consternation instead of appreciating this tender moment he lifted up his head, gave me a disdainful look and asked, "What are you doing?"
I let him go.
Of course these days I've got all sorts of kids to hug and squeeze and kiss boo boo's better, and it really is fun for me to see my oldest trying to mother her siblings. There was a recent shift in the relationship between my daughters, one my husband made certain I documented with pictures, and I am so glad I did.
We typically have spaghetti on Sundays, and M enjoys the chance to cook it, under supervision of course. A few weeks ago M took the opportunity to teach her little sister something about the art of cooking spaghetti.
Here they are after the noodles have been cooked. A is helping M pat the sauce into the pan to warm up.
And now they're mixing in the sauce together. Yum.
Here's A showing us her "I'm so happy someone let me help" face.