I don't have siblings. I witnessed my fair share of sibling rivalry in friends' homes, but nothing prepared me for the tidal wave of emotions that brothers (or sisters) can evoke in each other. My children are really quite close. Without anything to compare it to, I believe they are already growing up to be best friends. But just as they can bring out the best in one another, they can also bring out the worst. And those moments try me like none other. I can feel my emotions rising with theirs, and my only-child bent for quiet and solitude comes out with full force. I never know if the reaction to yell or hide will be more powerful, though the obvious goal is to not give in to either. Yes. Easier said than done.
When Tai comes home from kindergarten, there are barely 3 seconds that pass before he and A.J. fling themselves passionately into play. They passionately collaborate and they passionately fight. And when they decide to play games, I brace myself. I take deep breaths. I am going to need emotional strength for all of us, because God knows these little ones have very little.
There is virtually no difference between what young children feel and what they express. They have no filters, and they don't hide. And, really, there is incredible beauty in that. Now if only I can calm myself down to stop and see that beauty.