I only have two kids, but some days I feel like my house is under army attack because, frankly, it’s a sibling war zone.
“He tripped me!”
“He’s a liar!”
“You’re sooooooooo mean!”
“I hate you forever!”
At times I tell myself it’s natural. Siblings argue. I mean, what did I expect having two boys 19 months apart? That they could play one-on-one basketball without shouting? That we’d have a competitive-free household?
I guess not, but I was hoping for some peace and lately its been all war.
It’s Spring Break time and my boys go to different schools, which means their vacations are rarely at the same time (in fact, my older one has one month more vacation this summer than his brother. I already hear the, “It’s not fair!” coming…). This week my older son, Jacob, is off. About two weeks ago grandma, knowing he’s had a tough time lately at school (see my previous post) decided to invite him up to her apartment in New York for a week with grandma. Jacob was elated. And, he discovered, this was great ammunition to hurt his brother.
“Finally, I’m free of you!” Jacob said just about every night last week and especially the night before he left for grandma’s.
His brother, Aden, had no response. Which, of course, is a deadly counter attack.
“You’re so unlucky! While you’re in school I”m going to be living the good life – movies, grandma, Broadway shows,” Jacob continued.
This was again met with silence.
“I can’t wait to be brother-less!”
Okay, tone it down, we begged.
The morning Jacob left for New York with grandma neither boy said much to each other.
“Sianara!” Jacob said with a smile as he waved goodbye to Aden in front of his school.
“Sibling Break” had official begun.
I was pretty sure Aden was just as happy as Jacob to be rid of him, but when I picked him up from school that afternoon I received a shock.
“It’s weird being home and not having Jacob to play with,” Aden said.
But he never really wants to play with you lately.
“Yeah, I know, but sometimes he does and I like when he does.”
But you usually end up arguing and then no one speaks to each other until dinner.
“Yeah, but when it’s good it’s really good. Like when we ride bikes around the neighborhood. Jacob’s really nice then.”
Two minutes later the phone rings and it’s Jacob.
“Can I speak with Aden?”
Sure. They talk on the phone for fifteen minutes – about Ebay (a new obsession of theirs) and then, near the end of their conversation Aden says, “I miss you Jacob.”
And from the look on Aden’s face I suspect he got an “I miss you” back.
When I get on the phone with Jacob he asks me to “tell Aden I miss throwing a football to him.”
And I do. And Aden smiles.
The next day Aden asks to call Jacob again and invites him to be a part of his new band he’s forming.
Jacob says yes.
It sure feels like peace to me.
So now I’m thinking of starting a movement to re-name Spring Break “Sibling Break” so siblings can gain some perspective on the person who appears to annoy them the most in life.
War is way too over-rated by siblings. Peace feels much better.
And this week it has felt good – and necessary – for everyone’s soul.