Hard to believe that it’s been almost 4 years since I’ve posted this. I’m happy to say that the boys are good friends, but we still have the competition and brawls at every turn. I expect that they’ll still be putting each other in headlocks and tripping each other with their canes when they’re in their 80’s…
“Snips and Snails”
Boys are so…so… I really don’t know WHAT they are, other than sometimes pure joy and very often pure frustration!
When I had the boys, I was so excited to have them close together (20 months apart) so that they would always be each others’ “best friend.” Obviously I hadn’t had two boys 20 months apart before! My brother and I were 8 years apart, so I had woefully misguided yet idyllic visions in my head about how fun it would be to have a close companion at every turn. I longed for a sister, and even dressed my brother up and did his hair in ribbons so that I could pretend. Lucky for me I was so much older, so he couldn’t resist! I didn’t realize that someday they would go crazy from having companionship at every turn.
It started at such a young age too! When they were little, my grandma (who was totally blind) watched them for me while I worked. For those of you who never knew her, she was absolutely amazing. She raised four of her own children and then had a direct hand in raising all of us grandchildren. However, Evan figured out early on that “grandma’s eyes are broken,” so he could be a total hellion so long as he did it quietly, and then blame it on Braden. For several months I would pick the boys up from Grandma’s and hear about how horrible Bray had been (at age 2), how he’d gotten into the fridge and dumped out ketchup or mustard on the floor, how he’d take all the books out of the bookcase, etc. etc. Finally, near Halloween that year, grandma told me how Braden had gotten into her Halloween candy and dumped it everywhere. Finally, the proverbial lightbulb came on over my head: there was NO WAY that Braden could have gotten up to the cupboard that the candy was placed in, even had he been able to push a heavy chair over there. The poor little guy had taken the blame for months, when it had been Evan all along. I still feel awful for that one…
The next summer, he got his revenge. The boys had one of those big, yellow Tonka dumptrucks that I swear every little boy who has ever lived has had, and I was watching them play in the yard through the kitchen window while I did the dishes. Evan had again been pulling his “big brother” act, taking every toy that Braden played with. Braden would just shrug, and go find something else to play with. Eventually he’d had it, and I watched as he casually got up, went over to where Evan was playing, picked up the dumptruck and conked him over the head with it. No tears, no fighting, just “problem solved.” You could almost see the thought in his head: “You want it big boy, you got it!!!”
Thus, the constant wrestling began, which is still what drives me craziest. It starts out as good fun, but it ALWAYS gets out of hand. But if I try to stop them when they first start, I get the same “Oh mom… we’re just kidding around.” Anyway, I’m sure that some day they really will be best friends, and I am starting to see glimpses of that now.
Watching them play football in the yard tonight was another of those moments that gives me hope that they will actually be friends, even after they leave home. It’s so fun to watch them and see how far they’ve come, and I love listening to the sound and timbre of their soon-to-be grownup voices. I think the fact that Evan will be 16 this month is hitting me hard (and making me feel REALLY old!). I know it’s trite, but it seems like just yesterday that they were playing with those trucks and fighting over who got what bunk in their room…
** Sigh ** Now if only they could pull this off for more than 30 minutes before it turns into another brawl… 😉