All for what?

My children fight… sibling rivalry at it’s most distracting. I’m sure many a parent has tried at one point or another to uncover methods to help smooth the way..

It’s not just between the birth positions.. or ages. But I have noticed it is usually always about control… and being right. They will learn in time I’m sure (or so I continually tell myself) with or without my intervention.

My siblings and I fought constantly. My younger sister came along after I’d had our parents to myself for 30 months. That has to be a shock to any child… I don’t remember feeling any contempt for her as she was always the quiet one. Not necessarily shy but happy to just watch the world from her seat.

I was active and always enquiring and happy to be the centre of attention. The arrival of my brother when I was 4 changed the whole family dynamic though. He was demanding and always needing to be fussed over. I remember bouncing him in the wire bouncer in front of the TV one morning upon my mother’s request. I put my fingers on the edge of the wire near his head and pushed it as close to the floor as I could, wondering if he’d go into orbit if I could get it all the way to the bottom..
My brother, however, loved it and would laugh heartily at my efforts..

As we grew up, it was always a competition between him and I for everything… and the fights that ensued were often out of control. By the time I was a teen, I loathed the power he had over our parents and often felt my sister and I had to sacrifice much for him… it just didn’t seem fair.

After I left home, we still had our fall outs.. family get togethers or just him turning up out of the blue could ignite every emotion I had ever felt…

Now as my own children interact, I see much of my brother and I in them.

It’s taken us years to reach a level of tolerance and understanding across health issues and family intervention… I now feel I *know* my brother much better than my parents or sister ever will and advocate for him if I see the situation requires it.

And my brother?

Well today he fixed my 15yo’s Wii after his younger brother’s inadvertently smashed it a few months ago for a 10th of what it would have cost me to take it to a repair place. He didn’t ask for payment for his time or even stay long to chat… but he did it for us.

Maybe there’s hope for my children after all?

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~ by C J on April 4, 2010.

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