This morning, before I had finished my first cup of coffee, I had the joy of reiterating one of my most-oft-used sentences.
“He’s the only brother you’ll ever have.”
This statement is reserved for a post-argument or post-cruelty or post-aggravation lecture. This morning the cause was a verbal fight over a toy which quickly disintegrated into a kick from one brother to the other. I don’t know who started the argument. I don’t know who initiated the kick. I don’t care who did what or in what order. It doesn’t matter. It needs to stop.
I stood in front of them as they both sat on the step, looking up at me with big, sad, tear-filled eyes. I sighed.
I know that they love each other. I see it in the way that they take all of their pillows and pile them on the living room floor and act out crazy imaginative stories. Or how when one puts on a firefighter costume, the other one has to as well. Or how when one is Buzz, the other is Woody. Or they’re both Buzz. Or how BigBrother has taken to teaching LittleBrother how to play various things on the computer, above and beyond what I’ve taken the time to teach him thus far. Or when they just randomly tell each other, “I love you.” I know that they love each other.
But for Pete’s sake, I’m tired of the arguing. And the nit-picking. And that tattling. And the “he won’t let me watch him play Leapster.” And the “but he got to pick the game last time.” All of it. I’m tired of it.
And so I repeat, “He’s the only brother you’ll ever have.”
This is a true statement, and I say it like I mean it. I use my serious voice. Not my yelling voice, but my serious voice. The I Mean Business Voice, reserved for Making a Point. The only brother. This is it, boys. No more. None. The only brother.
They look at me, from behind their wet eyelashes, with a bit of confusion in their eyes. You can see their thoughts. “The only brother I’ll ever have? Yeah? So?!” And I want to make them sit nose to nose and imagine life without the other. I want them to realize that the other one currently acts as his best friend. And that it won’t always be that way and they’ll go through periods of something akin to pure hate at one point or another, but that they’ll always be brothers. And that not everyone has this luxury. I want them to recognize how important the other is in his life.
But mostly I just want the arguing before I finish my first cup of coffee to quit.
“You two. Oh, you two. Hug each other and get your butts in the car. No arguing.” They hug, get up off of their bottom step and make their way to the car. Before they’re there, they’re giggling about something and I breathe a sigh of relief.
They’ll be okay, these brothers. They’ll be okay.