As I listen to my kids bicker and fight over everything and nothing, I am scrolling through my phone looking at pictures where they at least pretend to get along.
Watching these two, and hearing my own attitude coming out of her mouth towards her younger brother, I am reminded of all the times that I had that tone of voice with my brother and sister. I am reminded of all the times that I had an overbearing and imperious attitude. All of the times that I thought I was smarter and more correct than them. All of the times that I made them feel less than, and then turned around blamed every fight on their unwillingness to “listen to me”.
Why on earth would they listen to me? I was just their sister. I was not their parent. I had 16 months more life experience than my brother and 5 years and 3 months more than my sister, but that did not make me more “right”.
There are many times when I am reminded of a situation or a verbal exchange, or wrestling my 12 year old sister to the ground for “stealing” my socks (which is especially ridiculous when you consider that I go out of my way to NOT wear socks…) and I think “good grief. They must really love me to still be my friend after all of these years”, because they don’t have to be. Many people aren’t close with their siblings in adulthood. Many people don’t have siblings that bring over entire computer desks for your child, or who book time into their week to bake over FaceTime from the opposite end of the country with your child. They don’t send snoopygrams, or just because cards through the mail. They don’t take care of your kids when your life is hard. They don’t text you when you are struggling. They don’t share their secrets with you and keep yours. They don’t maintain a shorthand for text conversations that is 90% movie quotes.
But mine do. So I hope that these two love each other more than they annoy each other. I hope that they come out of this part of childhood loving each other and appreciating each other. I hope that they get through their teenage years, and come out still friends.
And I am glad that my siblings let me live to adulthood, and to have the karma of kids who repeat our behaviours.