I spent more than a few years thinking I should just get up each morning, put on a referee jersey, place a whistle around my neck and then brace for the day. My three boys could fight over the most minute things. One, particular, Lego block. One, particular, dinosaur juice glass. One, particular, video game controller. Sigh.
Oh, the fights. Oh, the screams. Oh, the dumped "ants" from the "pants." Oh, the thrown Star Wars figures.
Star Wars role-play. It was the best of times...it was the worst of times. The youngest couldn't even talk when the boys caught SWF (Star Wars' Fever.) But, the oldest, our SWD (Star Wars' Director), didn't mind, as the noisy, babbling baby was perfect for just holding up the Chewbacca and making that wookiee roar. As long as it was when SWD told him to.
It would be adorable. For a while. Then the middle boy, well, he would have his land speeder full of the SWD telling him how to be Luke Skywalker. As a matter of fact, not only was he sick of being a puppet of a Luke, he didn't even want to be Luke. That's right, he would shout, "NOW! I'M GOING TO BE HAN!" Cue: intergalactic war.
All I do know is that even though I was pretty sure the boys loved one another, I was going to have to stay very involved if they were going to live each other.
When I say "live each other," I guess I mean do life together. My caveman and I desired that our boys be best friends...not in a strange, "have no other friends/have to live with my bro until I'm 40" way. But, to truly grow into more than brothers. To be there for each other. Even when "there" might be on the other end of a phone line. Or a text message.
I learned quickly that I was going to have to forget those referee stripes. The coaching cap had to come out.
My kids grew up, for the most part, in the Northwest region of the United States. But, when they hit their tweens, we made a few moves in just a little more than a few years.
People are always amazed that the boys have not only fared well, but truly appreciate the fact that they have lived in different places and have had some incredible experiences. I just think the moving made them close.
Before the moves, I would say, "Well, at least you'll already know two boys when you get there, and they can sleep over every night!" Or, "Aren't you blessed you get to take your best friends with you?" I would be a big fibber if I said they always responded gleefully to these statements, but somewhere along the moving van's highway, these thoughts began to take root. Moving is tough. So is not making the ball team. So is being picked on at recess. But, these are times when it's good to have a sibling. These are times when my mind goes to this verse...
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17
I framed a picture of my boys, taken when they were quite young, walking up a road together. The following is written on the mat surrounding it:
"On the road of life it's a gift to have friends...a blessing to have brothers...a treasure to have brothers who are friends."
I know siblings are going to have their "issues." I've so been there, you can't even imagine. But, it is my prayer for any parent out there at wit's end today to stay the course! Ask God to help you help your kids work through their disagreements - no matter how large or small.
Life's challenges are a lot easier to face with a brother or sister born for adversity. Someone to have your back. Someone to make you laugh until you cry. Someone to treasure.
Someone to be the Luke to your Han.