Her mane grew wilder as she catapulted through the air and onto his sleeping person. The sound frequency of the cackle competed with that of the cry, but there are no winners at 5am on a Sunday, and even fewer with two children in their parents bed. The First Offense.
As the elder household members called on Hercules for strength to roll over and stand up, awareness of awake being greater than the state of sleep energized the oldest brother to forget his younger sister’s airbud tackle at the opportunity to return the favor to the youngest and nicest. At the sound of the second scared and startled cry within the first 30 seconds of a still pitch dark sky, the temptation to roll back over, curl up, and pull the covers over head was powerful and alluring, to which both parental units fell as an intense “not it,” stalemate grew more pathetic with each kick and sigh. Dad lost because he’s the nicest and least dramatic. The Second Offense.
The chicken offended her more than a sibling could, or so it seemed by her wailing. He sat, and so did the youngest, settling for the chicken, but happy about rice being tiny, sticky, and difficult to clean. For no reason other than a special flare for antagonism, she chewed that chicken with no intent to swallow. With his attention on adding “please,” and fewer head flails and tears to the request for his mother to retrieve him a straw, she called on her acrobatic ability and cat like reflexes to jump over the table and release the chewed chicken, moistened thoroughly with spit, to the not yet eaten lunch of her brother. In moments like this, its best that adults turn their heads and attempt not to laugh so hard that shaking blows their cover, lest they be considered bad parents. The Third Offense.
The last applesauce. The best seat. The ability to turn off the TV. Naturally slower legs. Standing anywhere and being 1yr old and non verbal. Stollen Leggos. Chewing toys. Eating Chapstick. The pink hat. The horse socks. Easily grabbed hair. Clumsiness. Intent to destroy any working train. Love of order. Love of Chaos. Etc X 5 billion. Offenses 4-the daily 5 billion.
As I observed the daily battles among my own children, I thought about my own siblings, and all the times they told me I looked more like a monkey when I cry more than an actual monkey does. The sweaters hidden under my bed, and the desire to be as smart, as good, and just their friend.
As the first people to annoy me, and they, the first people I annoyed, I say with Gratitude, the word of the year, THANK GOD FOR SIBLINGS AND ALL THEY TEACH US ABOUT LIFE. And though I wish my kids would lay off the “tut up, I fate you’s” a bit more, I know that they are getting to know some of the best people they will ever know and ever love.
Because in between the daily offenses are snotty kisses and belly laughs, ganging up on mom, discovering how easy it is to do, and making fun of her for the rest of their lives.
To my siblings in 2014: May we continue to grow in friendship, with God as our guide and reason to unite. May we say “thank you,” much more often than “you suck,” and may we never quit annoying each other for that would mean we have grown apart.