Friday, June 3, 2011

Do They Even Like Each Other?

Aren’t road trips fun?

“Give it!”
“But I want to play with the spinning toy thingy.”
“It’s mine!”

The argument continues until the inevitable, “Mom, she won’t give me the spinning toy thingy.”

What can I expect when we’ve been driving for three hours? Road trips can be hard on everyone, but what gets me is my weird expectation for a perfectly joyous time in which the little darlings will harmoniously get along.

Yeah, that pretty much doesn’t happen. They don’t argue constantly, but from time to time (and it feels like a lot when you’re in the car for so long) they do bicker, fight, whine, argue, and cry. And it’s often when an older sibling (dictator) wants to control a younger brother or sister (peon). The older feels she has the power, but the younger—rather than simply capitulating to her ruler—rebels.

“No! I won’t give you the spinning toy thingy! I don’t have to! You’re not my MOM!”

Sometimes I think they really, truly dislike one another. I wonder if they’ll ever be friends.

The criticism—“That’s not how you fold a towel. Just let me.”

The belittling—“Really? You really don’t know how to tie your shoes yet?”

The sarcasm—“If someone would put others first for once.”

The guilt trip—“It’s okay. I’ll take the smallest piece of pizza.”

Man, oh man, it can be unnerving … and saddening. I long for them to love each other. They need their siblings more than they know, and I want to see them support and stand by one another. Yet, it’s often cutting words and meanness. Like in the van—the war of the spinning toy thingy. Sigh.

But then in the midst of the chaos, something wonderful happened. Somewhere along the way, the arguing had ceased, and little voices simply talked from the back seat. As we arrived to our destination, I heard this:

“I really liked talking to you, Christian.” Gabrielle smiled at him as they got out of the car.

“Me too, Gabby. You’re the best sister in the world.”

Oh yes, that's enough to send thrills through a Mommy-O’s heart.

Then after we got settled in the hotel, all four of them sprinted to the ocean, giggles melded with the seagulls caws and the crashing waves. Not one argument exploded—not even when poor Christian tripped and soaked himself in the chilly saltwater. Nope, in fact, the others helped him up. And I was able to get this lovely photograph of Ben and Gabby gazing at the sunset together.

Well, I suppose they do like each other after all.

No comments: