Monday, March 16, 2015

Like a Brother

My kids love each other!  They really love each other!

I promise, I'm not bragging.  I'm just really excited to discover after 5 years that, despite MUCH evidence to the contrary, they really, truly love each other!

Yesterday they finally earned enough money by WHINING through months of chores to buy a new toy.  And so we planned an awesome day of church and out to eat and toy shopping before remembering it was the first Sunday of store closings here in Hungary.

Um, yeah.  I would highly recommend checking on the openness of toy stores before ever promising severely expectant children a trip to said toy stores.  Yeah.

Luckily we had a few toys stored up from our trip to the States last summer, and each boy agreed on a separate, but equally desirable toy, for which they paid us the appropriate amount.  I mean, we might have made a little on the deal, but I think we deserved it for ALL THE WHINING!

The boys played happily with their toys for much of the day, but after dinner Aiden followed me to the kitchen and wedged his way into my arms.

"What's wrong, buddy?" I asked.

That's all it took for my happy, little guy to melt into a puddle of tears.

"Finn got a really good Bey Blade and he's never going to share it with me."

"But Aiden, you're the one who chose the Legos.  And if I remember correctly you told us just a few hours ago, and I quote, I'm not that into Bey Blades anymore."

"But I didn't know it was a really good Bey.  You didn't tell me you had a really good Bey."

More sobbing.

"Um, we didn't know we had a really good Bey.  And I'm sure Finny will share it with you.  Right Finn?"


At this point my natural instinct is to buy a whole new Bey.  To run right to the store and purchase the thing that will stop his tears, because suddenly it's totally clear how terribly unfair this all is.  I would have to, of course, buy Finn a set of Legos as well, so everything in the world is perfect and equal and the tears and the whining all blissfully disappear.

Joel tells me we're not supposed to do this, though.  And he's ALWAYS watching, so instead I held him a bit longer.  I rubbed his back and told him Finn would eventually share.  When the toy wasn't so new and so exciting.  In a few days, perhaps, he'd be ready.

Aiden answered in more tears and we eventually moved on without a resolution.

But about fifteen minutes later I watched Finn sidle up to Aiden.  Without a word he held out his Bey, and Aiden looked at him with surprise in his eyes.

"No," he said in a small voice, "that's okay."

"Just take the Bey Blade, Aiden!" I snapped from across the room.  A mom can only take so much drama!

But as I turned towards the kitchen I watched from the corner of my eye as they awkwardly hugged each other before scurrying away to play.

Later that night Joel peeked his head in the room, where I was attempting to put Benjamin to sleep.

"Aiden and Finn want to know if they can sleep together."

"Um, okay?"

I thought bunk beds were close enough, but apparently not.

With Benjamin finally sleeping I crept quietly into their room.

"Mom," Finn whispered, "we decided to pretend we both paid half for each toy.  So we can share both."

"That's great," I said, but I started to get all teary and weird, so I kissed them and left quickly.

They laid awake talking in bed for two more hours.  I should have separated them.  I should have forced them to sleep.  But they were talking and not fighting.  They were awake and yet there was peace.  So I let it go, even as the clock ticked towards ten.

Perhaps it wasn't best for them or conducive to a good night's sleep, but I needed that time.  I needed to hear them chatter mindlessly and I needed to picture them tucked under the same blanket and I needed to realize that they truly and actually love each other.

Because some days I wonder.  I know, deep down, but I wonder.

Most days the fighting feels relentless, and once or twice I've asked Joel, in complete desperation, "Do they hate each other?"

Benjamin's recently taken on the role of Finn's protector.  No matter where Aiden is or what's happening or regardless or the fact that he himself just bashed Finn in the head with a heavy, wooden sword, he'll run to crying Finn, wrap his arms around him, and demand to know "Aiden do?"

And, let's be honest, he's usually right.  Some days the teasing and the jealousy and the screaming and punching are just too much.  And I wonder, do they really love each other?  Aside from mom-says-I-have-to love.  Do they want good things for the other?  Do they love each other?

And on days like yesterday, it feels like they're quietly whispering, yes.

And that whisper, it's enough for me.  It wipes away all the very loud NO's, and I find myself overwhelmed by the quiet truth.

It's such a mom thing to say, I know, but that one quiet yes should get me through another five years.

And, likely, it's going to have to.

Because very first thing this morning...

"Mom!  Finn's not sharing his Bey!"

1 comment:

  1. I love that my boys hang out sometimes and watch out for each other even though they are all grown up.