The Great Divide

63276_10150109003067889_5009704_nI always wanted my kids to be the best of friends. Particularly the older two. They are two years and twelve days apart. Built in best friends. Right? Wrong.

Not right now at least.

I would almost go so far to say that they are sworn enemies. At least once a day I hear them shouting unforgivable curses at one another.

In all seriousness they fight all the time.

It hasn’t always been this way, but it has gotten much worse the past couple years.

My oldest couldn’t stop hugging and kissing his new baby brother when he arrived. He wanted to hold him and feed him with his “elbow.” We were a little worried he’d strike his newborn sibling with a baseball bat (not on purpose he just carried a bat around, swinging it all the time.) But we made it through those first few years just fine.

The bat is swinging all the time now.

They argue about one another annoyingly singing or humming. They argue about who has to shower first. They argue about who gets to sit where at the dinner table.

They fight about school facts. They fight about who gets to play the xBox. They fight about who has to take care of the dog.

They fight until someone gets seriously hurt sometimes.

I’m sure there are many reasons why they fight (hormone and preteen related I’m sure), I’m not a child development expert, but one of the biggest reasons they fight is because they are different.

One of them loves school, reading, imagining, and helping out.

The other loves the fishing, watching YouTube videos, building things and vegging.

Their differences make them unique. But they also make them hard to live with.

I finally broke down and separated them from sharing a bedroom. They have lived in the same space for a decade. But I could take it no longer.

So we shifted some furniture around and created a couple new rooms.

It makes me sad. I know that they are getting older and they could use their own space, but like I said earlier, I wanted them to be the best of friends. I wanted them to stay up late at night giggling about silly jokes. Not throw pillows at each other at full force.

But I’ve learned more than once that I can’t control my kids.

They are going to be who they are meant to be. And for these two that is going to be two very different things.

Different isn’t bad. I’ve been trying to teach my kids their whole lives to embrace those that are different than them. That we all are special no matter who or what we are.

It’s just hard when those difference lead to violent shouting matches between my two oldest boys.

20170531_151921.jpgIt really hit home yesterday when my 8-year-old showed me a book he wrote at school about he and his older brother. In it he wrote that he and his brother were, “as different as a mouse and giraffe.”

In the book he lists a bunch of their difference and then closes with, “The brothers were a different as the sun an moon, but they just have to live with it.”

He’s right.

They are going to have to live with their differences. They are going to be brothers forever.

Hopefully having their own space will help them better enjoy the time they have to be together.

Hopefully they can learn that different isn’t bad.

Hopefully they can learn tolerance and love.

Hopefully some day they will be best buds.

Hopefully.

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